A third of Australia -- including battlers' suburbs and some of the wealthiest urban areas -- has entered the danger zone for financial distress, despite signs that economic conditions are improving.

Dunn & Bradstreet found that 33% of postcodes had fallen into the 'high-risk' category of financial distress, with Victorian suburbs facing the highest risk of defaulting on debts. This is up 30% on the same time last year.

The research, released exclusively to The Australian, lists the Melbourne outer suburb of Frankston North as the postcode with the highest risk of default, followed by two of Sydney's most exclusive eastern suburbs, Bellevue Hill, the home of Ros Packer, and Woollahra, the address of former premier Neville Wran.

The Australian