Housing affordability improved 4.4 per cent across the country over the past 12 months, with Victoria and the Northern Territory leading the charge, growing at 6.6 per cent and 10.2 per cent respectively.
PRDnationwide's quarterly index revealed an increase in affordability for all states over the 12 months to March.
The number of first home buyers have decreased the most in Tasmania, by 11.1% over the past 12 months, attributed to the increasing number of interstate investors taking advantage of Tasmania’s lower median property prices.
These finding were revealed in PRDnationwide’s Q3 2017 key economic indicators, which combines a number of measures including number of loans to first home buyers, home-loan-to-salary ratios, consumer sentiment, weekly family income, unemployment and net migration.
The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) recorded the highest home loan affordability index reading, at 49.7 points, surpassing the Australian average of 32.9 index points.
Victoria recorded the second highest in home affordability growth, at 6.6% over the past 12 months to March 2017.
New South Wales’ home loan affordability increased by 3.7% over the past 12 months, to 27.7 index points.
Consumer sentiment is a key indication of the general population’s confidence in the economy -- a higher index point reading suggests consumers are more willing to spend rather than save.
And consumer sentiment has remained under the positive line (100 index points) in August 2017, currently at 95.5 index points. This is a 5.5% decrease when compared to consumer sentiment reading 12 months ago, and the lowest since then.
According to the report, this suggests consumers are uncertain and cautious, and are more willing to save than spend.
The standard variable loan decreased to 5.2% this quarter, which could assist in building consumer confidence over the next few months.
The Australian weekly median income recorded at $1,688 in March 2017; an increase of 2.2% over the past 12 months. Weekly median income increased in all states, with South Australia leading the way – increasing by 4.1% to $1545 per week.
Consumer price index decreased to 1.9 index points, suggesting goods and services have been more affordable when compared to the previous quarter.
This is good news for household income, and should further assist in increasing consumer sentiment.”