Aussies still troubled by housing costs despite market downturn

By Gerv Tacadena

Australian homeowners are still anxious about housing costs despite market downturn.

The persistent decline in home prices is not enough to alleviate housing affordability woes, with housing still being amongst the things Australians are quite anxious about.

Citing the quarterly Ipsos Issues Monitor, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that housing is still at the top of concerns of Australians in New South Wales -- this is surprising given that property prices in Sydney have been on a steady decline for already a year. The same trend can be seen in Victoria.

The report cited a separate poll by Essential Research which revealed that housing affordability has become one of the most important issues voters want the government to address.

For Grattan Institute’s Brendan Coates, the drop in prices is not enough to make much of a difference on affordability.

“We’ve seen modest single-digit house price falls in Melbourne and Sydney over the past 12 months and that’s small beer compared with the size of the house price increases that we’ve seen over the past decade," Coates said, as quoted by The Sydney Morning Herald.

Data from CoreLogic show that while Sydney's median dwelling price inflated by as much as 75% between mid-2012 and mid-2017, the price declined by only 6.1% over the past year.

Coates explained that the likelihood of the poorest 40% of Australians aged under 45 to ever own a home has fallen "dramatically" over the past 30 years.

"They just can’t afford the mortgage and that won’t change much with single-digit falls in house prices," he said.

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