ACCORDING to a Commonwealth Bank-Housing Industry Association affordability survey, housing affordability has improved in Perth by 6.1 per cent for the March 2011 quarter, and by 6.6 per cent in regional WA.
HIA senior economist Andrew Harvey said the improvement was due to a growth in average weekly earnings and a softening in dwelling prices in a stagnant market.
“Improved affordability is great news for home buyers, particularly first-home buyers with sound financial positions who have been considering entering the market in 2011,” he said.
Reports coming out of some Perth suburbs suggest that improved affordability is one of the factors that have resulted in first homebuyers trickling back into the market recently.
These reports were in line with REIWA’s analysis of March-quarter sales, which saw an increase in sales of cheaper properties, with first-home buyers representing a respectable 23 per cent of sales.
RBA deputy governor Ric Battellino, in a recent speech to stockbrokers, said that despite being more exposed to interest rate rises, Australian households were not suffering extensive mortgage stress.
“Mortgage lending in Australia had benefited overall from safer lending standards and the strong labour market,” he said. n