Housing affordability continues to be a significant issue for people on low incomes

The Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) has recently released its Forecasting Dwelling Commencements in Western Australia, 2017-2018 report.

Housing affordability continues to be a significant issue for many Western Australians, especially people on low incomes. “A very low-income household (earning around $43,000), paying around 30 per cent of income on rent, could afford only $250 per week in the private rental market,” the report states.

The Housing Industry Forecasting Group (HIFG) which comprises a joint industry and government body - established to provide independent commentary on the housing sector in WA report highlights how housing affordability in WA remains challenging, despite a softening in prices during the recent years.

“Western Australians on low incomes remain essentially locked out of home ownership,” the report reads.

“A household on a very low income in Perth (less than 50 per cent of the median income, or around $43,000) would be able to afford a dwelling priced at $216,300.

“This also assumes that the household is able to save a 10 per cent deposit – which would likely be extremely difficult for a low-income household -especially while renting in the private market.”

The report further explains how a household on 80 per cent of the Perth median (roughly $70,000) can afford a house of about $350,000 – well below the media house price of $504,320.

Apart from Busselton and Albany, most regional areas in Western Australia are now more affordable, according to the HIFG report.

For renters, affordability has improved, for people on moderate incomes in the private rental market, but for those on very low incomes, conditions have not changed.

Fast Facts

  • Dwelling commencements in WA fell by 23 per cent in 2016-17 to 19,702. This figure is slightly above the forecast of 19,000
  • HIFG forecasts an end to this decline with the level of dwelling commencements in 2017-18 predicted to be very similar to 2016-17
  • Population growth in WA remain slow at 0.7 per cent for the year to March 2017
  • The Perth median house price is $504,320

Read the HIFG report here:

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