According to the REIA, almost 29,000 new
first-home buyers entered the market during the September quarter. According to
separate figures from the Bankwest First Time Buyers Report, there were more
than 94,000 first homes bought across Australia in the year ending August 2017,
representing a 5.6 percent increase over the year. There are many reasons for
this increase, including stamp duty concessions, tighter lending to investors,
and lower interest rates. The proportion of family income needed to meet loan
repayments has also dropped over the last few months, meaning it's easier for
people to make the jump into the housing market.
According to Tim Reardon, principal
economist for the Housing Industry Association, current market conditions in
Australia represent “the best opportunity for first-home buyers in some time...
There were seven different pieces of regulation coming in around property – and
none of them affecting first home buyers. So they are – rightly so – given the
inside running... Changes to APRA rules have increased the relative interest
rate for investors. Their numbers have dropped, making room for first-home
buyers... NSW and Victoria introduced quite good incentives for first-home
The proportion of family income needed to
meet home loan repayments has fallen slightly across the country, dropping 1.2
percent to 30.3 percent of overall income according to the REIA report.
Affordability improved in all states and territories, both during the September
quarter and over the last year. While NSW and Victoria are still the least
affordable places in the country to own property, mortgage affordability
improved in both states over the last three months. The proportion of income
needed in NSW to meet home loan repayments dropped 2.1 percent over the quarter
to 36.1 percent, with numbers in Victoria dropping 1.2 percent to 32.2 percent.
In the NT, 19.4 percent of income is needed
to meet mortgage repayments, and in the ACT it’s just 18.5 percent. In WA,
first-home buyers make up the biggest percentage of the owner-occupier market
at 36.2 percent, with WA also the most affordable state for rentals with just
17.4 percent of the average income spent on the median rent. Rental
affordability decreased in four of Australia's eight states and territories,
with NSW the least affordable state for renters, followed by Tasmania. The
proportion of family income needed to meet rent payments was steady in Victoria
at 23.1 percent, with Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory all
seeing an improvement in rental affordability over the quarter.
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