Housing affordability takes another dive on Labor's watch

Housing affordability has taken another dive on Labor’s watch with industry figures showing the largest annual decrease in affordability in a decade, said Shadow Minister for Housing, Senator Marise Payne.

Senator Payne said the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) Deposit Power Housing Affordability Report showed the proportion of income required to meet loan repayments increased 5.8 per cent to 34.8 per cent over the year; more proof that Labor’s reckless spending is driving up the cost of finance for housing.

“Homeowners are now paying the price for the $900 stimulus cheques, overpriced school halls and pink batts,” Senator Payne said.

“Instead of mounting useless attacks on the big four banks for gouging home loan customers, Julia Gillard and Wayne Swan should stop running up debt and competing with these banks for the same money in the wholesale funding markets.

“The latest drop in affordability comes as no surprise as the gap between the RBA cash rate and the average variable mortgage rate has risen from 1.8 per cent under the Coalition Government to 3.0 per cent under Labor in November.”

Senator Payne said it was concerning that the largest decreases in affordability occurred in the most populous states of NSW and Victoria where the amount of income to meet loan repayments rose 6.5 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively.

“Homeowners in the outer suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne are struggling enough with the cost of living increases and this result is another blow,” Senator Payne said.

“Labor doesn’t even consider housing important enough to have a standalone minister.

“After labelling housing affordability a “barbecue stopper” before the 2007 election, the Rudd-Gillard government has clearly dropped the ball on this issue.”