Housing gets more affordable

Google Maps

ANOTHER rise in the HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index in the March 2012 quarter marks the fifth straight quarter of improvement.

Conditions are beginning to tilt back in favour of those trying to enter the housing market says the Housing Industry Association.

The Affordability Index improved by 6.4 per cent (3.7 points) in the March 2012 quarter to be 11.0 per cent (6.1 points) higher over the year.

"In the March quarter we observed a modest increase in earnings, a modest decline in lending rates and a softening in the median dwelling price, so all factors moved in a direction which improved housing affordability," said HIA's Senior Economist, Andrew Harvey.

"Cuts to the RBA cash rate totalling 50 basis points in late 2011 should have provided a much larger boost to affordability in the quarter but the impact was eroded as lenders widened the margin between mortgage rates and the cash rate.

"After accounting for the wider margins, the average mortgage rate during the March quarter was only 13 basis points lower than in the December quarter.

"Those trying to get a foothold into the housing market will welcome the recent improvement in affordability, and we should see further improvement in coming quarters as the May rate cut flows through.

"However, we should be mindful that much of the recent improvement in affordability is driven by a cyclical softening in the economy and in house prices. Structural issues which dramatically push up the cost of housing, including high taxes, still need to be addressed and reformed," added Mr Harvey.

Sydney and Perth both recorded deteriorating affordability in the March quarter of 2012 with their indices falling by 1.0 per cent and 1.8 per cent respectively.

Affordability improved in the remainder of Australia's capital cities with Melbourne up by 7.3 per cent, Brisbane up by 6.3 per cent, Adelaide up by 7.3 per cent, Hobart up by 3.0 per cent and Canberra up by 7.1 per cent.

Outside of the capital cities, affordability improved in all states with the exception of Victoria which was unchanged. Affordability in non-metropolitan New South Wales was up by 2.4 per cent, Queensland was up by 4.5 per cent, South Australia was up by 6.4 per cent, Western Australia was up by 8.7 per cent and Tasmania was up by 0.4 per cent.

Topics:  hia home ownership housing property

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Ocean Shores fours win a classic

CLASSIC: Carl Healey, Alf Boston, Kirk Olive and Cam Curtis.

Twenty-four teams met in the 2016 Ocean Shores Hahn Fours.

Beaches reopen following shark attack

Surfer Jade Fitzpatrick had a run in with a shark at Broken Head yesterday.

All beaches across Byron Bay have reopened today

The Living End are coming to Byron Bay

The Living End

The Living End are going on the road in 2017 for a regional tour

Local Partners

Rams and Wildcats in youth league football battle

The Byron Wildcats and Rams youth teams met their Mullumbimby/Brunswick teams under very dim lights in the Football Far North Coast Summer Youth League.

The Superjesus: Back with Love and Violence

DOWN AGAIN: The Superjesus are Paul Berryman on drums, Sarah McLeod on lead vocals and Stuart Rudd on bass guitar.

The Superjesus are back after 13 years

Jethro Tull is back to Bluesfest

ICONIC: Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull at Bluesfest 2011.

Jethro Tull returns to Bluesfest next April

Beth Hart will set the stage on fire

ON FIRE: Beth Hart, coming to Bluesfest 2017.

American singer/songwriter Beth Hart

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.