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Property News

Residential housing affordability recovers for third consecutive quarter

December 12, 2011

Housing markets across Australia are starting to become more affordable, according to a new industry report.

The HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index compiles data on the median price of dwellings by region - along with information on average weekly earnings, monthly repayments and available interest rates.

Issued on December 8, the latest edition shows that the September quarter saw the overall measure improve by 1.2 per cent to 57.2 per cent.

This is the third consecutive rise recorded by the index - prompting senior economist at the Housing Industry Authority (HIA) Andrew Harvey to comment on the range of influencing factors.

"Continued earnings growth and a small decrease in mortgage lending rates worked to further improve housing affordability in the September 2011 quarter," asserted Harvey in a HIA media release on December 8.

"These factors more than offset a modest increase in the median house price."

Harvey also suggested that - while interest rate cuts may have improved overall affordability, they could also have an impact on the cost of housing over the long term.

"This possibility combined with an easing in the pressure for skilled trades means that now is shaping up as a good time to buy a new home for those financially able to do so," said Harvey.

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