Concept of real estate, mortgage and lease

Australia’s mortgage market may be most exposed to rising interest rates, while Canada ranks fourth, according to a new report from Fitch Ratings.

The rating agency said Australia’s mortgage market is most exposed to higher interest rates based on metrics such as the share of variable rate residential loans and borrowers’ debt-to-income ratios.

In the report, Fitch ranked countries globally by stress-testing each market’s average debt-to-income ratios for variable-rate loans originated in 2020, if those rates were to rise by 3% by the end of 2023, while keeping the income unchanged.

On that basis, Australia is most exposed to rising rates, followed by Spain, the U.K. and Canada.

Fitch also noted that changes to household incomes would also affect these ratios: “for example if inflation eroded real incomes or rising rates depressed economic growth, pressuring salaries.”