It is said that if you are handing over more than 30% of your income to service a home loan, then your bank balance is classified as “stressed”.

A report by REIA discovered that the average Australian is spending 31.7% of his or her weekly family income on mortgage repayments, indicating that most Australians are experiencing mortgage stress.

The Adelaide Bank Housing Affordability Report by REIA for the September quarter revealed a decline in housing affordability throughout the country as the proportion of income required to fulfil loan repayments rose by 1.4 percentage points.

“Unfortunately, housing became less affordable during the third quarter of 2015 largely due to the increasing size of new loans,” said REIA president Neville Sanders.

NSW took the brunt of the affordability drop, with the proportion of income required to meet mortgage repayments surging by 2.4% to 38%—making the state the least affordable for homebuyers.  In comparison, the ACT’s proportion sits at a comfortable 19.3%, the most affordable among the states and territories.

Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the ACT all improved on their housing affordability compared to their results the previous year.

On the other hand, renters are having it much easier, with the proportion of income required to meet median rates at 24.6% during the quarter, according to the report. All states and territories also saw better rental affordability.

The report also discovered that the volume of first-time buyers increased by 3.8% to 26,173. The figure, however, is 2.2% lower than last year’s posted result. First home buyers comprised 15.6% of the owner-occupier market, the report noted.

In NSW, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, the number of first home buyers increased. NSW had the largest increase of them all, by 9.6%.
Australian first-home buyers, on average, took out a $347,367 home loan, barely under the national average of $380,320.