Many un­der stress over hous­ing costs

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - NEWS -

BEL­MONT is the sec­ond least af­ford­able sub­urb in Perth for multi-res­i­den­tial dwellings on a price to in­come ra­tio.

Prices have in­creased by $27,000 in two years, a new re­port into hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity has shown.

The me­dian unit price has in­creased from $403,250 in 2013 to $430,250 in 2015, with Bel­mont hav­ing a price-to-in­come ra­tio of 5.8.

Fre­man­tle had the high­est me­dian price-to-in­come ra­tio of 8.4, with the price of $695,000 un­changed since 2013.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port by the Bankwest Curtin Eco­nom­ics Cen­tre, hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity has im­proved for West­ern Aus­tralian house­holds.

But many still re­main vul­ner­a­ble to hous­ing stress and pres­sures.

Lead re­searcher and BCEC deputy di­rec­tor as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor Rachel Ong said while the pro­por­tion of house­holds that re­gard their hous­ing as “unaffordable” fell from around 33 per cent to 19 per cent over the last two years, low in­come house­holds were still fac­ing pres­sure.

“Cur­rently, in­di­vid­u­als liv­ing on a min­i­mum wage can­not af­ford to rent a one bed­room unit in the Perth met­ro­pol­i­tan area, de­spite tar­get­ing the lower end of the hous­ing mar­ket,” Ms Ong said.

A key fac­tor in af­ford­abil­ity was the di­ver­sity of avail­able hous­ing op­tions. “WA is one of the least di­verse ar­eas for hous­ing stock op­tions in Aus­tralia,” she said.

“Ex­pand­ing the range of avail­able hous­ing both in terms of the type of dwelling and ac­cess op­tions will help to im­prove hous­ing af­ford­abil­ity for ev­ery­one.”

The me­dian sales price of es­tab­lished houses in Bel­mont was $525,000 at the end of last year, while the city’s me­dian house­hold gross in­come was $75,100.

City of Bel­mont chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Stu­art Cole said the in­crease in val­ues could be at­trib­uted to the co-or­di­nated ap­proach of the city and high stan­dard of de­sign ex­pected un­der its split den­sity cod­ings and larger ar­eas iden­ti­fied as spe­cial de­vel­op­ment precincts such as The Springs area.

“Higher stan­dards of de­sign and co-or­di­nated re­de­vel­op­ment re­sults in bet­ter built form and im­proved amenity for the whole area,” he said.

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