In the wake of ostensibly encouraging signs for the housing market in certain regions of Australia, Siobhan Hayden, CEO of the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA), has emphasised that small fluctuations in different sectors and regions ultimately mean little to the majority of Australians with home loans.
Figures from the first quarter of 2016 have shown that overall housing affordability in Australia has improved by 2.7%. Sydney (8.9%), Perth (4.9%) and Darwin (4.4%) were the major improvers, though affordability actually fell in Brisbane (by 1.2%), Adelaide (0.2%) and Canberra (0.3%).
However, these small changes are largely irrelevant, according to Hayden. She says, “Housing affordability in Australia is an emotionally-fuelled discussion. Our cultural identity is strongly aligned with the dream of owning the ‘quarter acre block’ and slight corrections across different sectors of the housing market are not a solution to housing affordability for the majority of borrowers.”
The ongoing challenge of affordability means that brokers continue to play a crucial role in ensuring fairness and value for those seeking to take out a mortgage.
“Brokers prove an essential partner for any consumer looking to navigate their next purchase, particularly during these times of change,” adds Hayden. “Whether it is guidance related to deposit requirements, funding options, lender policy or simply the ‘next steps’ guidance for consumers looking to buy, brokers consistently demonstrate their value.”