New housing construction collapsed on the Northern Rivers in 2008-09, according to new figures from the Housing Industry Association. Housing approvals in the Richmond-Tweed statistical division fell by 43 per cent.
New housing construction collapsed on the Northern Rivers in 2008-09, according to new figures from the Housing Industry Association. Housing approvals in the Richmond-Tweed statistical division fell by 43 per cent.

Housing affordability up, says HIA

THE improvement in housing affordability continued unabated in the June 2012 quarter, said the Housing
Industry Association.

"Excluding the GFC period when interest rates dropped sharply, housing affordability is at its healthiest
level since 2003," said HIA Chief Economist, Dr Harley Dale.

"That is heartening news for Australian households."

"Now is a great time to buy for those who are financially set to take that decision."

A further rise in the HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index in the June 2012 quarter marked the sixth consecutive quarter of improvement.

The HIA-Commonwealth Bank Housing Affordability Index improved by 1.1 per cent (0.7 points) in the June 2012 quarter to be 10.6 per cent (6.0 points) higher over the year.

"The recent improvement in affordability is welcome news for those trying to get a foothold into or
advance within the housing market," said Dr Dale.

"It is also an encouraging bright spot for an industry that, in terms of current activity, remains a clear area of weakness within the Australian economy."

"The improvement in housing affordability is largely cyclical and there remains considerable work to be
done to address the high and inefficient taxation embedded in housing, especially for new homes."

"Policy reform remains very slow, to the detriment of households, businesses, and overall economic
performance."

Melbourne and Brisbane were the only two capital cities to record a deterioration in affordability in mid
2012.

Outside of the capital cities, affordability improved everywhere except South Australia and
Western Australia.


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