Streets Ahead : Streets Ahead Edition 12
Streets Ahead | Genworth Homebuyer Confidence Index - March 2016 10 Affordability vs accessibility In previous editions of Streets Ahead we have examined the debate between accessibility (the ability to enter the property market) and affordability (the ability to meet mortgage repayments). Previous findings indicated higher house prices, requiring a larger deposit in terms of value, are hindering access to the property market. In this edition, we revisit this debate to see if, and how, the barriers to homeownership have changed over the last six months. Although down from 34% in September 2015, high property prices (33%), and the difficulty of saving a deposit at 24% (up from 20% in September 2015), continue to be perceived as the biggest barriers to purchasing a first home. The proportion of respondents who believe that difficulty in making mortgage repayments, interest rates and uncertainty about the economy (all 4%) are barriers to purchasing a home, continue to remain stable or decline. This clearly indicates that accessibility, as opposed to affordability, continues to be the major issue facing prospective homebuyers in Australia. According to the February 2016 CoreLogic RP Data Hedonic Home Value index, capital city dwelling values increased overall by 1.4% this quarter. Although Sydney has the highest property values of any capital city, it was the only capital city to experience a decline (-0.2%). Despite this decline, high property prices remain the biggest barrier to buying a first home among NSW respondents (40% up from 38% in September 2015). Homeowners who are using more than 50% of their income to service debts has remained stable at 23%, the lowest percentage since the inception of the Genworth HCI. This is supported by the HIA Housing Affordability Index dropping to its lowest point since September 2012, with Darwin being the only city that experienced an improvement in the December 2015 quarter.
Streets Ahead Edition 11