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Q3 2017 Key Market Indicators – ACT

The results are in: the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) records the highest home loan affordability index reading, at 49.7 points. This exponentially surpasses the Australian average of 32.9 index points. They also record the highest weekly family income at $2619, suggesting ACT residents are benefitting from a balanced equilibrium of property prices and wage growth.

The PRD Q3 2017 Key Economic Indicators provide consumers with a quick snapshot of the current state of affairs from an economic and property perspective. The PRD Key Economic Indicators cover both national and state level data, comprising of:

  • Number of loans to first home buyers
  • Home loan affordability index
  • Number of dwelling approvals
  • Consumer sentiment index
  • Standard variable loan
  • Consumer price inflation index
  • Unemployment rate
  • Weekly family income
  • Nett migration

A key finding for ACT is in relation to affordability, where despite only increasing by a modest amount of 1.8% (the lowest of all states), it has recorded the highest reading at 49.7 index points. This is far above the Australian average of 32.9 index points.

Interestingly ACT records the 2nd highest decline in the number of first home buyer loans, decreasing by 8.9% over the past 12 months to 381 loans in March 2017. This can be attributed to first home buyers being priced out of the market by seasoned investors, or their preference to invest in other states – for example Queensland and Tasmania, due to lower property prices. The government sector is the largest employer in ACT, and with an increasing amount of jobs moving towards a contract role, this may have played a role in young professionals opting to not purchasing properties.

Dwelling approvals has seen cooling measures, decreasing to 362 number of approvals. Nett migration has increased, currently at 500 in December 2016. This provides current stock the opportunity to be absorbed in the market, however also hints at a potential undersupply which is a good news for astute investors.

Unemployment rate has increased to 4.5% in July 2017, however this is still significantly lower than the Australian average of 5.6%. Furthermore weekly family income has increased to $2619, indicating wage growth and strong potential for future economic growth.