Buying a house has become a lot more affordable in the past six months, yet rents continue to show no signs of abating, according to the latest research released by the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) this week.
The REIA/Mortgage Choice Real Estate Market Facts publication for the March quarter 2009 shows that although there has been some financial relief for homebuyers, those renting have not experienced any respite. Median rents for both three-bedroom homes and other dwellings recorded no decreases in any of the capital cities this quarter.
REIA President David Airey said that capital cities have shown varied results this quarter.
Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart recording a decrease in median house prices while Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Darwin median house prices have increased, some for the second quarter in a row.
The Australian weighted average median house price decrease during the March quarter by 0.8 per cent to $437,121 compared with a decrease of 4.7 per cent over the year.
“This quarter has shown that with housing affordability improving and rents continuing to rise or stabilise, it is cheaper to own a home than to rent in Hobart, Darwin and Canberra, when compared with average loan repayments for the March quarter recorded in the REIA Deposit Power Home Loan Affordability Report,” Mr Airey said.
“In the remaining five capital cities, the difference between average loan repayments and median rents vary between $120 and $276 per month.
“This data shows the reality of owning a home is becoming more achievable, especially for first home buyers,” he concluded.
Kristy Sheppard, Senior Corporate Affairs Manager at Mortgage Choice said the figures have risen almost 90 per cent over and above the 8,818 first home buyers who entered the mortgage market in August 2008, before the FHOG Boost was introduced and cash rate cuts began to occur.
“Along with all the activity in other categories this bodes well for a healthy second half of the calendar year,” Ms Sheppard said.