Re­gion tops poll

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

The City of Kar­ratha is the most af­ford­able place to own a home in WA, ac­cord­ing to a na­tional sur­vey.

Be­fore you spit your drink out in be­wil­der­ment, add to that state­ment that Dampier is the third most af­ford­able place to own a home in Aus­tralia.

The claims are the re­sult of a fin sur­vey into who has the most money left over af­ter their mort­gage re­pay­ments.

With an av­er­age an­nual post­mort­gage re­pay­ment house­hold in­come of $88,027, Dampier home­own­ers are nearly $13,000 bet­ter off than the top-rank­ing Perth sub­urb of Brent­wood.

Only St An­drews in Vic­to­ria and Mo­ran­bah in Queens­land are bet­ter off na­tion­ally.

Mil­lars Well ($86,973), Bul­garra ($86,125), Nickol ($85,942), Pegs Creek ($84,773) and Baynton ($79,525) all have a higher post­mort­gage re­pay­ment an­nual in­come than ev­ery other WA sub­urb.

De­spite the pos­i­tive data, North West Fi­nance di­rec­tor Belinda Brad­shaw warned the statis­tics did not show the whole pic­ture.

“In­sur­ance is a big cost here be­cause of our cy­clone rat­ing,” she said.

“On av­er­age it is prob­a­bly four times more ex­pen­sive to in­sure a house up here than in the city and just be­cause you buy a house at $400,000 doesn’t mean you’ll be able to re­place it at that price here.

Ms Brad­shaw said lenders were an­other big hur­dle when it came to af­ford­abil­ity in the re­gion.

“There are more re­stric­tions on buy­ing prop­erty and a lot more hoops to jump through here, even for Keystart,” she said.

“The banks still don’t like our post­codes.”

Ms Brad­shaw said main­te­nance costs and util­i­ties also had to be fac­tored in to paint a real pic­ture.

Fin­ money ex­pert Michelle Hutchi­son said it was in­ter­est­ing to see sub­urbs with both higher and lower me­dian house prices in the mix.

“What this shows is that in some sub­urbs, Aus­tralians are liv­ing much more af­ford­able lives than oth­ers, re­gard­less of the home val­ues,” she said.

“The main find­ing was that it doesn’t mat­ter the cost of hous­ing in an area, what mat­ters is how much it costs you to be able to af­ford liv­ing there.

“So bor­row­ers need to do their re­search and find the low­est cost home loan, use an on­line cal­cu­la­tor to work out the costs in­volved and how much money left over they will have af­ter pay­ing mort­gage re­pay­ments.”

Fig­ures were cal­cu­lated based on a 20 per cent de­posit, vari­able 5.1 per cent home loan rate, me­dian house price of each sub­urb, 1.5 in­come earn­ers per house­hold and de­duct­ing ap­pro­pri­ate tax from the av­er­age wage.

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