Housing More Affordable but First Home Buyers Disappearing

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says that in the September quarter of 2013 the ACT remained the most affordable state or territory in which to buy a home, NSW remained the least affordable and first home buyers are disappearing.

REIA President Peter Bushby says, “The latest Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report shows an improvement in housing affordability with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments decreasing 1.2 percentage points to 29.8%.”

“All states and territories recorded improvements in affordability over the quarter – the largest in Tasmania, where the proportion dropped by 1.6 percentage points to 24.6%.”

First home buyers made up just 13.6% of the owner-occupier market compared to 14.6% in the June quarter and this figure is one of the lowest since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started to collect data on the activity of first home buyers.

“As we expected, due to the changes in the First Home Owner Grant introduced by the Victorian Government, the number of loans to first home buyers in the state had the biggest quarterly drop across the country.”

“The consequences of the availability of the grant to those only purchasing new dwellings are abundantly clear in NSW and Queensland – the number of loans to first home buyers in these states is 46.7% and 34.5% lower than it was a year ago.”

“South Australia and Western Australia both saw a strong increase in the number of loans (excluding refinancing) over the past year.”

“For renters, it became slightly more affordable to rent in Tasmania, but in the Northern Territory, rental affordability fell further with renters paying well above the national average.”

“For this and future editions of the Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report, REIA commissioned a review into the methodology of estimating the median weekly family income data. New methodology now in use brings that data in line with the Census.”

The Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report can be found here