South Australian families are spending up to almost a third of their weekly paychecks to keep a roof over their head, a new study shows.
According to Adelaide Bank/REIA Housing Affordability Report, which is based on data from all major lending institutions, the proportion of income required to meet monthly loan repayments for SA homebuyers has increased by 0.9 per cent over the past quarter.
Looking at data for the December quarter, SA homebuyers needed to spend 27.5 per cent of their weekly family income to meet loan repayments.
The median weekly family income sits at $1617 — up on $1607 for the previous quarter, and the $1575 recorded in 2017’s December quarter.
This is also up on the 26.6 per cent needed for the previous quarter, and the 26.4 per cent required in the December quarter the previous year.
Financial pressures are also affecting renters, with the report showing 22 per cent of the weekly family income was needed to meet rent payments, up on 21.8 per cent for the previous quarter, and 21.9 per cent for 2017’s final quarter.
Nationally, housing affordability declined in every capital except Melbourne, and Darwin.
Adelaide Bank head of third party banking Darren Kasehagen said despite some negatives highlighted on a national scale in the report, there were many positives.
“A 3.8 per cent increase in the number of first home buyers during the quarter was also to be welcomed,” he said.
“We also saw an increase of 3.3 per cent nationally in the number of loans over the December quarter, which, to be honest, was a bit of a surprise over a traditionally quiet period.”
The number of loans granted to SA first homebuyers over the quarter increased by 11 per cent to 1645.
The average loan size to first homebuyers also increased by 2.1 per cent over the quarter to $284,469, and is up 5.3 per cent on the same quarter last year.
The average overall loan size increased 2.1 per cent over the quarter to $318,780, and is up 4.4 per cent on 2017’s final quarter.
Real Estate Institute of South Australia (REISA) president Brett Roenfeldt said despite the increase in weekly spend on housing, we were still affordable compared to the rest of the country.
“This is reflective of our median house price having increased over the past 12 months in excess of 4 per cent for Adelaide metro and in excess of 6.2 per cent in regional areas,” Mr Roenfeldt said.
Housing Prices: Projecting the decline into the future1:00
With Australian housing prices declining rapidly over the past year, first homebuyers could potentially corner the market.
“According to the latest figures, our stock levels are dropping significantly, and that’s putting pressure on house prices because buyers have little to pick and choose from.”
Mr Roenfeldt said if housing costs continue to rise while wages remain stagnant, affordability would become more of an issue.
“Once we’ve broken the 30 per cent mark then an average person out there in the marketplace (would be) looking very closely at where your money is going,” he said.
“We’ve got the lowest median price of any capital city in the country, and when you put it in perspective, we still represent extremely good buying in the current environment.”
Originally published as The true cost of SA housing revealed