First home buyers can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief, as central measures introduced to address soaring property prices in Australia begin to take effect.

The recent release of PRD’s annual Australian Economic and Property Report sheds light on the issue of housing affordability, which continues to be a hot topic in the media as well as on the lips of politicians and property industry professionals.

The report goes some way to evaluate the effectiveness of the new policies that have been introduced by various government, banking and regulative authorities, with the purpose of creating a more even playing field for owner-occupiers, and more specifically, for first home buyers.

APRA led the charge to address concerns related to foreign buyers and investors, through changes to bank lending policies that reduced credit availability to investors and fixed interest borrowers.

We are now starting to see some impact from these measures, introduced in 2016, with the Home Loan Affordability indicator increasing by 4.5 per cent across Australia over the past 12 months to March 2017.

The report is great news for first home buyers, especially since the 2017 Federal Budget introduced a range of tools specifically catering for this group of property buyers.

The property market has now entered a period of slower growth, particularly in the previously overheated markets of Sydney and Melbourne.

Interestingly though, the new regulatory landscape that has dampened growth in capital cities and metropolitan areas has delivered a boost to regional markets, including the Tweed.

In fact, all states experienced positive growth in regional areas in the first half of 2017, with average growth over the first half of 2017 coming in at 4.5 per cent – markedly higher than in capital cities (2.8 per cent) and metropolitan areas (0.7 per cent).

This reflects increasing consumer confidence in regional markets, with Federal and State governments both acting to increase their commitment to regional infrastructure developments.

New tax cuts for small business are expected to drive local commercial activity in these regional areas further, creating employment and increasing livability.

Now in its tenth year, the Australian Economic and Property Report continues to be an important resource for those wishing to keep informed on key market trends.


‘Til next month…

Jason Abbott – Principal Coolangatta/Tweed

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