Affordability Improving

Home affordability has improved slightly in the past quarter while interest rates, wages and house prices have remained subdued, according to the latest Home Affordability Report from Massey University.

Nationally, affordability increased by 0.8 per cent in the three months to August 31, meaning a 9.7 per cent improvement over the past year.

The report shows that the average weekly wage rate increased by $6.15 over the quarter, the median house price remained static at $350,000 and there was a 0.01 per cent decrease in the average monthly mortgage interest rate to 6.59 per cent.

Report compiler Professor Bob Hargreaves of the School of Economics and Finance commented that the housing market is currently characterised by very low turnover rates, expectations that mortgage interest rates will not increase very much in the short term and continuing low wage growth, while the economy gradually recovers from the recession and the effects of the Canterbury earthquake.

Over the past quarter, seven out of 12 regions showed improvements in affordability: Northland 6.4 per cent, Taranaki 3.9 per cent, Southland 3.3 per cent, Otago 2.5 per cent, Hawke’s Bay 2.3 per cent, Auckland 1.7 per cent and Nelson/Marlborough 1.3 per cent.

Regions showing quarterly reductions in affordability were: Waikato/Bay of Plenty 3.8 per cent, Canterbury/Westland 2.3 per cent, Wellington 1.6 per cent, Central Otago Lakes 1.3 per cent, Manawatu/Wanganui 0.3 per cent.

The full quarterly affordability reports are available online.

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