Home affordability in Australia at its best since 2003

Home ownership is more accessible

Home ownership is becoming more accessible in Australia as the latest figures show that affordability is at its healthiest level since 2003.

An improvement in housing affordability has continued unabated for several months, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia’s residential building industry.

‘Excluding the global financial crisis period when interest rates dropped sharply, housing affordability is at its healthiest level since 2003,’ said HIA chief economist 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,’ he added.

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% in the June 2012 quarter to be 10.6% 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. 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,’ explained Dale.

‘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,’ he added.

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

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