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Mortgage data expected to unnerve homeowners

Official data on mortgages to be released today is set to test the nerves of homeowners across the country.

The data is expected to point to a recovery in the economy and a sign of the pace of future interest rate rises. The Reserve Bank last week indicated that rates were more likely to go up than down over the next few months.

Financial markets are expecting the RBA to start raising interest rates before years end, predicting interest rates could reach 4.25 percent by mid-2010, an increase of 1.25 percent on the current rate of 3 percent.

However, ANZ economist Riki Polygenis said any increase in interest rates would be gradual, with the RBA keen to keep a close eye on how consumers will reach to the phasing out of the first home owners grant, which helped to spur on the property market.

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