One senses that the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has been itching to do a piece on the increase in mortgage buffers and offset accounts, and it grasped the opportunity in the third quarter's Bulletin.
That a bit of a mouthful, but it's the orangey-yellow-ish line in the graphic below.
In its April Financial Stability Review (FSR) the RBA found that balances in offset accounts and redraw facilities had increased further since the preceding Review, to sit at around 17 per cent of outstanding loan balances (equivalent to more than 2.5 years of scheduled repayments at the prevailing interest rates).
The cash rate was then cut twice further in May and August to a record low of 1.50 per cent.
However, the RBA's survey evidence also indicated that those households considered the most likely to experience financial stress - i.e. those with lower net wealth or household income, or higher leverage - were less likely to have mortgage buffers, and that these buffers tended to be smaller than for other households.
Yes, life has been kind to homeowners who have seen their mortgage rate cut almost in half from around 10 per cent to 5 per cent since 2008.
But gross household debt has moved higher, and therefore almost by definition is less stable, regardless of its distribution.