More Queenslanders declaring bankruptcy
A RECORD number of Queenslanders have declared bankruptcy over the past year, with the Sunshine State accounting for almost a third of the 32,350 national personal bankruptcies.
A report from data registry and analytics business illion out today showed 9415 Queenslanders filed for bankruptcy in the 17/18 financial year, up from 9267 the previous year.
Historically high household debt, flat wages and a falling housing market was blamed for the surge in bankruptcy rates, with the overall number across Australia up four per cent.
Western Australia experienced the sharpest rise, up 11.7 per cent on the previous year.
Queensland suburbs made up five of the Top 10 suburbs in the country with the most personal bankruptcy claims, including Upper Coomera (88), Morayfield (83) and Pimpama (81).
illion economic adviser Stephen Koukoulas said three consecutive years of rising bankruptcy declarations, both across the nation and in Queensland, could be largely attributed to a soft national economy.
"One thing we have learned from looking at the bankruptcy numbers, and it makes sense, is that it is linked to the performance of the economy," he said.
"Both nationwide and in Queensland we do see the economy just muddling along. We're not going into a recession; it's just not quite firing on full cylinders.
"House prices in Brisbane and in Queensland more generally are pretty flat, wage growth is very low and there are other issues cropping up - we know people aren't doing financially brilliantly."
Mr Koukoulas said Queensland's high number of bankruptcies relative to its population size could potentially be linked to a higher population flow than other states, including those people who choose to semi-retire and start new businesses or franchises.
"Queensland does see more churn, more start-ups, and unfortunately we know a lot of those fail within the first two years, so it could be a reflection of that," he said.
"I still see some headwinds for the economy, and the greatest concern is the housing market.
"Weak house prices are not good for consumer sentiment, and not good for consumer spending.
"It tends to be contained when our wealth isn't going up, particularly if you've been highly-leveraged. One thing about Australian households is we tend to have a lot of debt and it's been that way for a while."
illion CEO Simon Bligh said individuals should carefully consider all their options before declaring bankruptcy.
"Bankruptcy has long-term effects on a person's financial position such as impacting their ability to borrow or even rent a home," he said.
"We encourage anyone who is experiencing financial hardship to seek help from a financial counsellor."
TOP 10 AUSTRALIAN SUBURBS
(with the most personal bankruptcy declarations for the 17/18 financial year)
1. Baldivis (WA) - 105
2. Pakenham (VIC) - 96
3. Upper Coomera (Qld) - 88
4. Point Cook (VIC) - 84
5. Morayfield (Qld) - 83
6. Port Macquarie (NSW) - 82
7. Pimpama (Qld) - 81
8. Caboolture (Qld) - 77
8. Dubbo (NSW) - 77
8. Orange (NSW) - 77
8. Redbank Plains (Qld) - 77
9. Blacktown (NSW) - 76
10. Craigieburn (VIC) - 74
*There are 13 suburbs in the top 10 due to tied regions
TOP 10 QUEENSLAND SUBURBS
1. Upper Coomera - 88
2. Morayfield - 83
3. Pimpama - 81
4. Caboolture - 77
4. Redbank Plains - 77
5. Coomera - 73
6. Kirwan - 69
7. Southport - 66
8. Springfield Lakes - 59
9. Surfers Paradise - 56
10. Crestmead -55
*There are 11 suburbs in the top 10 due to tied regions