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Where has affordability deteriorated the most in the regions?

Eliza Owen – Corelogic – 2 December 2012

The recently released ANZ CoreLogic Housing Affordability Report showed wide scale declines in housing affordability through the current upswing. At the national level, the ratio of housing values to household incomes reached a new record high in June, as did the number of years it takes to save a deposit, and the portion of income required to pay rents. While the portion of income required to service a mortgage was not at record highs due to low interest rates, it had increased over the past few quarters.

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But the report also highlights the particularly strained conditions for buyers in regional Australia. Affordability challenges in regional Australia have been exacerbated by the effects of COVID-19, where normalised remote work trends and appealing coastal or tree change settings became ‘pull’ factors of demand, while high capital city property prices, and the higher incidence of strict social distancing restrictions, became ‘push’ factors, driving people away from major cities.

In the year to March 2021, migration from cities to regions increased 5.9%, while the number of people leaving regional Australia for the capital cities declined 3.5% in the same period. The combination of more people arriving in regional Australian and fewer people leaving for the cities has created additional demand for housing, pushing the number of homes available to buy or rent to extreme lows. As of 28 November, the amount of for sale listings counted across regional Australia remained -36.9% below the five-year average, with just under 60,000 properties available for sale.

The ANZ CoreLogic Affordability Report features analysis on around 130 regional SA3 sub markets. The tables below show how affordability metrics across various SA3 markets of regional Australia have changed between March 2020, before the onset of COVID-19, and the latest metrics for June 2021. For each of the four metrics used to assess affordability, the top 10 regions with the biggest deteriorations have been highlighted.

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