First quarter data shows improved housing affordability in the territory

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The latest Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report showed improved housing affordability in the ACT during the March 2016 quarter as the proportion of income required to meet the average loan repayment fell from 19.9 per cent to 19.3 per cent. This is in line with an overall national increase, with seven out of eight jurisdictions recording an improvement.

Canberra has retained the title of the most affordable state to purchase a home, with the average monthly loan repayment falling by $56 to $2,162. It also has the highest median weekly family income.

Aside from a moderate increase in income, there are also other factors that have aided affordability. One of them is falling interest rates, which further reduced the average monthly loan repayment. These two factors combined have led to a higher proportion of disposable income.

The growth in house prices is also at a lower rate compared to last year. According to Allhomes sales data, house prices rose by 0.14 per cent across the month, recording an annual growth of 5.14 per cent. The median house price in the March 2016 quarter was $590,000.

Housing market activity in Canberra is also on the rise, with new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing an increase in the number of owner-occupier loans in the ACT by 10.1 per cent compared to the same time last year. However, first home buyers declined annually by six per cent, with only 451 loans approved during the year's first quarter.

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