Housing affordability in Australia has improved 33.1 per cent in the last year, according to PRDnationwide’s Quarterly Economic and Property Report.
The report, released earlier this week, showed that Australian house prices had decreased at the annual rate of 6.7 per cent from March 2008 to the same period in 2009
In the March quarter this year, house prices fell 2.2 per cent, however, an extension to the first home owners grant and greater consumer confidence has meant prices are now back on the rise.
Growing confidence has also been reflected in the Westpac – Melbourne Institute Survey of Consumer Sentiment Index.
For the first time since January 2008, the index reached 100 points, signifying a balance between optimists and pessimists in the market. The index increased by 17 per cent from the previous quarter, while the six month moving average increased by 3.7 index points.
Over the month of June 2009, consumer sentiment increased the most in Victoria, by 16.5 points, but was followed closely by Western Australia, with an increase of 16.4 points.
“During the June 2009 quarter, it has been interesting to follow the rise in consumer sentiment, despite unemployment continually increasing,” the quarterly report said.
“One thing is for certain, the Rudd stimulus package, along with the falling interest rates, have aided in the return of consumer sentiment. Optimists now predict that Australia has hit the bottom in this financial crisis, due to the shortage of dwellings and low interest rates.”