Housing Affordability Improves for Western Australian Buyers

June 5 2015

Western Australia’s housing affordability improved in the first quarter of 2015 according to latest report released by Adelaide Bank and the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

REIWA President David Airey said that a combination of record low interest rates and slow sales turnover had improved affordability for both tenants and home buyers in WA.

“In the rental market we have seen the vacancy rate lift to 4.5 per cent and the median rent has dropped by $30 per week since March last year, while the high number of properties for sale has seen Perth’s median price soften in the first few months of this year,” Mr Airey said.

Across Australia, the report found that the proportion of median family income required to meet average loan repayments was 30.8 per cent. Compared to the corresponding quarter of 2014, the figure increased by 0.2 percentage points.

The report found that in WA the proportion of income required to meet home loan repayments dropped 0.4 percentage points over the quarter and 0.7 percentage points compared to the same time last year, to 25.7 per cent, while rental affordability in WA improved by a 0.1 percentage point over the quarter and 2.1 percentage points when compared to the year before, to 22.9 per cent.

The Housing Affordability Report also showed that the number of first home buyer loans decreased throughout Australia, but that WA continues to retain the highest proportion of first home buyers on the state’s owner occupier market at 20.4 per cent.

Mr Airey said April data from the Office of State Revenue showed that first home buyers across WA were paying a median price of $430,000 for their new home, down from $450,000 in April last year.

Other findings for WA from the joint report showed that over the March quarter, the total number of loans (excluding refinancing) went down by 14.2 per cent to 12,983, which is an 11.9 per cent drop on the same time last year and the largest drop in the number of new loans nationally.

During this same time, the average home loan in WA increased by two per cent over the quarter, to $355,988, which is a 2.5 per cent rise when compared to the 2014 March quarter.

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