Home ownership less affordable

Although the Reserve Bank has left interest rates unchanged for a year, home affordability across Australia declined for the third consecutive quarter to December 2002. The average home loan increased 4.3 per cent to $175,056 in the December quarter with monthly repayments rising to $1,171.

Borrowers in New South Wales were the worst off with the average home loan rising 6 per cent to $214,602. Loan repayments increased 5 per cent in the quarter and now consume 32 per cent of the average NSW household's income. Home affordability in NSW has sunk to a level not seen since mid-1996.

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