Tuesday, March 25 2014
by Emily Guterras CBA
While many first home buyers may be struggling to get their foot on the property ladder, Gen Ys have no grounds to blame parents or grandparents, according to new research, which found that housing affordability has barely changed in a decade.
The median price of homes across Australia in the December quarter was $450,000, according to the RP Data/Rismark Home Value index, while the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) national accounts estimate disposable income per household of $111,919.
The figures suggest that the median home price was around 4 times disposable income in the December quarter, up from 3.9 times in the September quarter.
However, over the past decade, the average household income has risen 70.6%, while house prices have gone up 66.7%.
"Gen Y has no reason to blame parents or grandparents - home affordability hasn't really budged in the past decade," said CommSec economist Craig James, who authored the research.
“Simply, Australians have got richer over time. But broadly over the decade little has changed in terms of home affordability – it has gone sideways.”
While low interest rates have contributed to a steep rise in house prices last year and early in 2014, the Reserve Bank of Australia does not believe that the present conditions pose a near term risk.
“Certainly homes are less affordable than 20 years ago, but that is not because income growth has been sluggish, but because wealthier Australians, utilising lower interest rates, and benefitting from more affordable basic necessities like food, clothing and transport, have channelled extra dollars into the family home," said James.
"Homes are bigger and of higher quality than 20 years ago.”