Housing affordability improves

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Housing affordability across Australia generally improved in the first three months of 2018 despite higher costs in Victoria, South Australia, and ACT, according to joint research by Adelaide Bank and the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

During that period, the percentage of median family income required to meet average loan repayments decreased by 0.3 points to 31.3%. Meanwhile, rental affordability dropped in all states, except for Western Australia and the Northern Territory, as the percentage of median family income required to meet rent payments inched up 0.1 percent to 24.8%.

Western Australia and the Northern Territory were the only states or territories to show improvements in both rental and home purchase affordability.

The number of loans also decreased across the country by 16.0%, with drops in all states and territories, including the largest decrease of 17.9% in New South Wales and Victoria.

“Whilst some decline in the number of loans for this period, which includes the summer holiday break, can be expected, the reduction reflects a changing sentiment in the market,” REIA president Malcolm Gunning said.

“In Sydney and Melbourne – the two cities which have had the largest price increases over the past few years – the drop in loans is attributable to APRA restrictions on investment loans and more stringent home lending criteria,” he added. “Since the last edition of this report the east coast residential property market has moved relatively quickly from a seller’s to a buyer’s market. “


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