I believe 8-9% is seen as what rates may go up to in the medium term. But in the 80's we had rates well into the double digits.
My very first house in NZ had a mortgage rate of a hair under 23%. This is higher than most credit card interest rates are now. I doubt we will see interest rates that high again in my lifetime but you never know.
NZ needs to shake up the whole way mortgages are structured. People here go into them, on low credit costs, and take them out for 25-35 years. This is a generation. It pretty much guarantees that many people hit retirement years still with mortgages. Nobody in their 30's or 40's now can be certain that there will be any government help when they hit retirement but Kiwis go blissfully on, accumulating debt and thinking that the equity tied up in their house is a realisable asset to see them out through old age. Ha! I think some people are in for a shock.
In order to assess your wisdom, can you please advise me how long you will be living? ;-)
If I had a mortgage that hit 20% + I would probably keel over with a heart attack ;-)
You and me both!