Interest rates are starting to bite, with housing affordability declining across the country.

Despite this, WA remains one of the most affordable places to buy a home.

In WA the proportions of median family income* needed to make loan repayments** rose 2.3 percentage points to 33.8 per cent in the December 2022 quarter. This is up from 31.5 per cent in the September quarter and 25.3 per cent in the December 2021 quarter.

Only the Northern Territory was more affordable, with home owners there needing 32.2 per cent of their income to meet loan repayments.

Once again New South Wales mortgage holders fared the worst. They required a massive 54.8 per cent of their median weekly income to meet their mortgage commitments.

This will have increased further as there have been two interest rate rises since then.

Loan activity

The number of home loans in WA declined slightly over the quarter, down to 10,535 from 10,701 in the September quarter. This is likely a reflection of the usual decline in lower sales activity over the festive season.

First home buyer loans also decreased over the quarter, down 4.8 per cent to 3,802, which is 28.8 per cent lower than a year ago.

They made up 36.1 per cent of WA’s owner occupier market.

Rental affordability

There was a glimmer of hope for tenants in a number of States, with rental affordability improving.

It decreased marginally in WA however, with the proportion of income required to meet median rent payments rising 0.6 percentage points to 20.4 per cent in the December 2022 quarter. This is an increase of 1.3 percentage points from the same time in 2021.

Despite the increase, WA was the second most affordable place for tenants, with Victoria taking the honours.

Tenants in Tasmania were the hardest hit, requiring 28.7 per cent of their family income to meet rent payments, however this is down from the 30.1 per cent recorded for the September quarter.

Sourced from REIWA