DESPITE declining housing affordability, first-home buyers were more active in the second quarter of 2017, according to the latest Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report.
During that period the report found the proportion of median family income required to meet average loan repayments increased by 0.2 percentage points to 31.4 per cent across Australia.
REIA president Malcolm Gunning said at the same time, the total number of loans and the number of loans to first-home buyers increased by 9.6 per cent and 14.0 per cent respectively, with increases in all states and territories except Tasmania.
“First-home buyers now make up 14.3 per cent of total owner-occupied housing,” he said.
“This rate has been dropping steadily over the past five years but seems to have stabilised over the past 18 months.”
The report had mixed news for WA homebuyers and homeowners.
Housing affordability declined over the quarter, with the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increasing 0.2 percentage points to 23.6 per cent.
However it improved year on year, with the proportion of income needed to repay a mortgage decreasing by 0.3 percentage points compared to the June quarter 2016.
First-home buyers were not deterred by the decrease in affordability; the report found the number of first-home buyers in WA increased to 4128 in the June quarter, an increase of 16 per cent over the quarter and 3.8 per cent higher than the same time last year.
Of all Australian first-home buyers over the quarter, 17.5 per cent were from WA, while the proportion of first-home buyers in the State’s owner-occupier market was 33.7 per cent.
The report also had good news for tenants, with rental affordability generally improving in the June quarter.
The proportion of median family income required to meet rent payments reduced by 0.6 percentage points to 24.3 per cent.
Mr Gunning said this improvement was recorded across all states and territories except in Tasmania and the ACT.
“Historically, rental affordability declined markedly from the June quarter 2007, reaching its lowest point in the March quarter 2010,” he said.
“Since then rental affordability has been showing a trend improvement, reflecting the pick-up in investment in housing from the end of 2011.”
Rental affordability in WA increased during the June quarter, with the proportion of family income required to meet the median rent decreasing to 18.1 per cent.
Rental affordability in WA increased during the June quarter, with the proportion of family income required to meet the median rent decreasing to 18.1 per cent, a drop of 0.5 percentage points over the quarter and a decrease of 1.6 percentage points compared to the year before.