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Good News Continues for Housing Affordability

The improvement in housing affordability continued unabated in the June 2012 quarter, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

“Excluding the GFC period when interest rates dropped sharply, housing affordability is at its healthiest level since 2003,” said HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale. “That is heartening news for Australian households.

“Now is a great time to buy for those who are financially set to take that decision,” Harley Dale said.

A further rise in the HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index in the June 2012 quarter marked the sixth consecutive quarter of improvement.

The HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index improved by 1.1 per cent (0.7 points) in the June 2012 quarter to be 10.6 per cent (6.0 points) higher over the year.

“The recent improvement in affordability is welcome news for those trying to get a foothold into or advance within the housing market,” said Harley Dale. “It is also an encouraging bright spot for an industry that, in terms of current activity, remains a clear area of weakness within the Australian economy.”

“The improvement in housing affordability is largely cyclical and there remains considerable work to be done to address the high and inefficient taxation embedded in housing, especially for new homes.”

“Policy reform remains very slow, to the detriment of households, businesses, and overall economic performance,” added Harley Dale.

Melbourne and Brisbane were the only two capital cities to record a deterioration in affordability in mid 2012. Outside of the capital cities, affordability improved everywhere except South Australia and Western Australia.

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