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Melbourne Housing Affordability Rises in Q4

By Belinda McGuire

Buyers who are considering purchasing real estate in Rowville may be interested to hear that housing affordability across the country rose over the December quarter.

The latest Housing Industry Association (HIA) – Commonwealth Bank (CBA) Housing Affordability Index found that in the case of Melbourne, the index rose by eight per cent between the December quarter in 2011 and the same period in 2012.

On a national level, the corresponding period saw an 18.4 per cent rise in affordably of real estate.

HIA senior economist Shane Garrett explained that this was the eighth consecutive quarterly rise, bringing housing affordability to Global Financial Crisis levels.

"For regional areas, affordability is at levels last seen during the early 2000s decade.

"Affordability is on the increase in every part of the country. This has been driven by the weakness of price developments as well as the two cash rate reductions effected by the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) in the final quarter."

Mr Garrett added that affordability would be even greater if the banks had fully passed on the cuts made by the RBA.

The central bank should do more by reducing rates further, Mr Garrett insisted, in addition to governments abolishing the heavy taxation of purchasing real estate.

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