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WA families struggling to break out of rental market

22 August 2013 Brendan Wong

The rising cost of living and increasing rental costs in Western Australia are making it difficult for single-income families to break out of the rental market, according to one financial planner.

Director and credit adviser for Pure Finance, a firm of financial planners and loan brokers in Perth, Nick Aves, told Residential Property Manager it was becoming increasingly hard for these families to save a deposit for a home.

“They are making rental payments that are quite high and in some cases, the rental payments are more than a potential mortgage would cost them," he said.

“They are basically getting by, but they can't see any way they can save sufficient money to be able to get into the property market and break the cycle because the rental as a percentage of income has increased substantially.

“There’s a frustration and hopelessness that they are being left behind in some cases, and that’s particularly the case where they’ve had a home in the past that they’ve lost due to separation.”

Mr Naves said a contributing factor was the undersupply of housing in Perth, which has pushed rents up.

“The second thing is the cost of running a household has jumped up significantly, so we are seeing big increases in utility costs, water consumption, power and non-housing expenses,” he said.

According to Mr Naves, families struggling the most were those with income earners in unskilled work, such as in retail and in warehouses, on a single income and with young children.

According to a recent Auspoll study conducted by News Limited, over 55,000 WA households are suffering from rental stress. In addition, close to 20 per cent of first home buyers are seen as being at risk of losing their homes if their income is interrupted for even a short period of time.

The report also revealed that 84 per cent of Australians were more concerned with affordable housing than issues such as education, border security and fast, affordable broadband. 

WA families struggling to break out of rental market
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