$400K the new entry level for capitals

New data has shown that finding a property in Australia’s capital cities under the $400,000 mark has become increasingly difficult.

According to RP Data, 72 per cent of properties sold in the capitals in the 12 months to June were priced over $400,000. Ten years ago the figure was just over 30 per cent.

Over the three months to June this year, the combined capital city median house price was $550,000 and the unit price was $475,000.

“A rise in capital city home values of 10.1 per cent over the 12 months to June 2014 indicates the difficulty being experienced by price-sensitive purchasers looking to enter the housing market,” said Cameron Kusher, RP Data’s senior research analyst.

“This is most felt in Sydney and Melbourne, where home values have increased by 15.4 per cent and 9.4 per cent respectively over the year to June,” Mr Kusher said.

The latest figures show that regional areas still remain relatively affordable with just shy of 64 per cent of properties sold in the 12 months to June priced under $400,000.

The problem for regionals, however, was the higher rates of unemployment. According to the latest employment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, all states have lower unemployment in the capitals compared to regional areas; except for Queensland, where it’s even and South Australia, where it is slightly lower in the regional areas.

“If we consider the growth in home values and the selling prices of homes, it indicates a shortening supply of more affordable homes,” Mr Kusher said.

According to the data, buyers looking for properties in the sub-$400,000 band should look to Tasmania, where the median house price remained under that. You could find a unit in Brisbane, Adelaide and Hobart for below this price.

Mr Kusher said this dearth of cheap housing in the capitals was bad news for first home buyers. “Based on these conditions, we’re expecting the typical age of first home buyers to increase and first home buyer purchasing to remain at below average levels,” he said.

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