A ray of hope: Perth continues to be the most affordable city

By Gerv Tacadena

Perth continues to be the most affordable city.

For homebuyers looking for cheap homes in city-centres, Perth continues to be a strong destination as it remains the most affordable capital city.

According to the latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) Affordability Index, the Western Australia capital performed strongly during the quarter leading to June.

HIA executive director for Western Australia John Gelavis said the housing affordability index for Perth registered 111.7 in the June quarter. This indicates that mortgage repayment for homes at current market prices take up less than 30% of the average full-time earnings of homebuyers.

“Affordability in Perth is not only up over the quarter and the year but also well up on its long-term levels. Massive resource booms in WA over the past two decades have had the economic side effect of rapid dwelling price growth, resulting in poor affordability. The latest level is a vast improvement on the long term," Gelavis said.

Perth has seen home buyers taking advantage of the current market condition, which was boosted by the low-interest rate environment, faster building times, as well as state grants and stamp duty exemptions for first homeowners.

Gelavis also pinpointed Western Australia's Keystart program as a critical factor helping property hunters penetrate the market.

“[This] provides a low deposit arrangement and other options such as shared equity, which is one of the main reasons why Western Australia has the highest percentage of first home buyers in the nation," he said.

A separate report from the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia revealed the best suburbs in Perth to invest in, a list which included Bullsbrook, Medina, Parmelia, Armadale, Cooloongup, Maddington, Stratton, Camillo, Warnbro and Merriwa.

In a report for the Williams Media, REIWA president Hayden Groves said property prices in the vast majority of Perth are quite low.

“With our local market on the cusp of recovering, now is the time for buyers and investors to take advantage of favourable conditions before our local market becomes less affordable," he said.

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