Gap between housing availability and affordability continues to make home ownership difficult

Gap between housing availability and affordability continues to make home ownership difficult

DESPITE a softening Perth property market, a huge gap between housing availability and affordability continues to make home ownership difficult for many residents, new research shows.

The 2016 Housing Affordability study found more than 80 per cent of the 110,799 established houses and units privately sold from 2013 to last year had at least three bedrooms, highlighting a lack of diversity in stock.

Compiled by the Housing Authority, REIWA and Shelter WA, the report also revealed just 9 per cent of homes were affordable for households earning less than $69,000 per year, which represented 43 per cent of the Perth population.

The south-west metropolitan market, encompassing the Kwinana, Rockingham and Cockburn regions, reflected the trend, with 14 per cent of 15,535 homes being affordable.

It was one of Perth’s most affordable areas, trumped only by the Peel region, which recorded 24 per cent of homes within reach for lower income earners.

The south-west’s cheapest housing was in Orelia, Rockingham and Shoalwater, where older-style, two-bedroom units had a median sales price of $180,000-$190,000.

However, larger properties dominated the market, with almost 90 per cent of sold homes having at least three bedrooms.

Shelter WA executive officer Chantal Roberts said the limited housing options for households on a low to moderate income forced many to rent.

“There are many households, including key workers, 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.”

Housing Minister Brendon Grylls said housing affordability was a complex issue and the report information would inform the Housing Authority in the delivery of its commitments under the State Affordable Housing Strategy, which was on track to provide 30,000 affordable housing opportunities by 2020.

REIWA president Hayden Groves said the institute was looking forward to working with the Housing Authority and Shelter WA on further WA housing market research.