Housing affordability improves across Australia



New data from HIA shows affordability has improved across most capital cities, due largely to the fall in property values, particularly in Sydney.

“Affordability improved in most of Australia’s capital cities during the first three months of 2018 as house price pressures eased,” commented Shane Garrett, HIA Senior Economist.

“Affordability in Sydney improved by 1.9 per cent as a result of the reduction in dwelling prices over the past six months, while in Melbourne the outcome was largely unchanged as price growth remains solid. 

“Across the eight capital cities overall, affordability improved slightly (+0.2 per cent) during the March 2018 quarter. The improvement was held back by strong home price growth in a limited number of markets including Melbourne and Hobart.” 

“Current interest rate settings continue to benefit affordability. The RBA’s official cash rate is at a record low and hasn’t been moved in over 20 months – an unprecedented period of stability. 

HIA’s quarterly index is calculated across eight capital cities and regional areas, taking into account latest dwelling prices, mortgage interest rates and wage developments.


“Even though we have started to move in the right direction, housing affordability remains very challenging in the larger capital cities. The root cause of the problem is that the cost of producing new houses and apartments is still too high. 

“Governments need to focus on solutions involving lower land costs, a more nimble planning system and a lighter taxation burden on new home building,” concluded Mr Garrett.