Inner-city suburbs remain unaffordable says new study

Inner-city suburbs remain unaffordable says new study

HOME ownership will remain a dream for most households looking to buy in Perth’s inner-city suburbs, according to the findings of a new housing affordability study.

The report, Housing Affordability – A study for the Perth metropolitan Central sub-region area, focused on 11 planning regions surrounding Perth city including Bassendean/Bayswater, Belmont, Canning, Fremantle, Melville, Perth city, South Perth/Victoria Park Stirling East, Stirling West, Vincent/Stirling South East and the Western Suburbs.

It found 72 per cent of private housing sales in the Central sub-region were heavily skewed towards higher-income households earning more than $102,840 gross annually.

Of the 46,561 sales analysed during the study from 2013 to 2015, only 5 per cent of sales were affordable to low-income households earning between $42,851 and $68,560 gross annually.

Within the sub-region, Stirling East proved to be one of the most affordable planning regions, home to 30 per cent of sales to low-income households, as well as the highest proportions of affordable sales for the low and moderate-income groups.

Less than half of Stirling East’s private sales were sold to high-income earners during the study.

Also of note was the fact the Central sub-region had the highest proportion of two-bedroom or less sales out of all sub-regions in the study, which is a contrast to the overall Perth housing market’s heavy weighting toward larger properties.

But Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said while the property market had softened and improved availability for some, those on the lowest incomes were still finding it extremely difficult to find available, appropriate and affordable housing.

“With over 80 per cent of sales being larger properties, it’s also evident that there’s a lack of diversity in Perth’s housing stock,” he said.

Shelter WA executive officer Chantal Roberts said the research identified the limited housing options for low to moderate-income households in Perth.

“There are many households that are trapped in our insecure private rental market due to a lack of diverse and affordable options, particularly in locations close to jobs and services,” she said.

“A range of varied and affordable housing is needed across all areas to support the development of strong and diverse communities.”

REIWA president Hayden Groves said the report highlighted key issues affecting the industry and the community as a whole.

“We can see from the findings that both housing affordability and diversity are issues to be addressed and we’re looking forward to working with both the Housing Authority and Shelter WA on further research regarding the state of the WA housing market,” he said.

The report is the result of a collaboration between the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia, the Housing Authority and Shelter WA and will be published in a five-part report this month.