First-homebuyer boost

Taylar AmoniniNorth West Telegraph

The Pilbara offers the greatest housing accessibility in WA for first-time buyers, according to the latest housing reports.

Figures from the annual Bankwest First Time Buyer Report revealed it would take FTB couples earning a combined $125,000 between one year and 18 months to save for a house in the Pilbara.

Four Pilbara local government areas were among the top 10 areas in WA with the least time for FTB couples to save a house deposit, with East Pilbara at No.3, taking one year for a $43,371 deposit and Ashburton at No.4 taking 13 months for a $57,500 deposit.

Port Hedland and Karratha came in fourth and seventh respectively with Hedland FTB couples taking 15 months for a $51,768 deposit and Karratha FTB couples taking 19 months for a $62,333 deposit.

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The report quantified how long it would take a first-homebuyer to save a 20 per cent deposit based on local incomes and house prices with assistance from the first-homeowners grant.

REIWA president Hayden Groves said the slowing down of the mining boom was a contributing factor for the Pilbara’s improved numbers.

“Additionally, the average household in the Pilbara region spends approximately 26 per cent of their total income on mortgage payments every month, making it more affordable than the Perth metro average of 30 per cent,” he said.

“The Pilbara will be one to keep a close eye on in the next couple of years. The proposed developments in port and rail infrastructure is estimated to create about 3300 jobs, which would bode well for the region’s economic growth and ultimately produce positive flow- on effects to the property market.” The Pilbara regions featured in the top-10 list all feature significant decreases over the past five years, with the East Pilbara going from 3.8 years to one year, Ashburton from 2.6 years to 1.1 years, Port Hedland from 4.4 years to 1.3 years and Karratha from 4.3 years to 1.6 years.

According to REIWA, house prices had declined by 64 per cent in the five years to June 2017, giving Pilbara FTB couples a better chance of purchasing their first house.

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