Housing affordability declined in WA in the December 2018 quarter, according to the latest findings from the Real Estate Institute of Australia and Adelaide Bank Housing Affordability Report.
Residential sales market
The December 2018 quarter Housing Affordability Report found West Australians were using up a greater proportion of their income to meet loan repayments, with the figure increasing from 22.5 per cent in the September 2018 quarter to 23.1 per cent in the December 2018 quarter.
On an annual basis housing affordability in WA has improved, having decreased 0.8 per cent when compared to the December 2017 quarter.
There were 7.6 per cent more loans taken out in the December 2018 quarter than in the September 2018 quarter, according to the report, with a total of 11,017 loans (excluding refinancing) recorded for the quarter. Although this figure is an improvement on the September 2018 quarter, it is down 6.2 per cent compared to the December 2018 quarter.
The average loan size increased in WA during the December 2018 quarter, up 1.2 per cent to $340,515 compared to the December 2018 quarter. On an annual basis, the average loan size has declined by 3.5 per cent.
First home buyers
First home buyer activity increased 6.7 per cent in WA during the December quarter, with 3,833 new property owners recorded, however this figure is down 4.1 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter.
First home buyers make up 34.8 per cent of the state’s owner-occupier market (the largest percentage in the country!) and represent 13.2 per cent of all first home buyers in Australia.
The average loan to first home buyers increased by 0.9 per cent to $306,850 during the quarter, and decreased 2.9 per cent compared to the December 2017 quarter.
Rental affordability has declined in Western Australia, with the proportion of income required to meet the median rent now sitting at 16.6 per cent, an increase of 0.5 per cent during the quarter and 0.2 per cent over the year.