Housing affordability up in third quarter: Midday roundup

Housing affordability increased for the seventh consecutive quarter in the three months to September, according to the latest results from the HIA-CPA housing affordability index.

The index increased by 5.3% in the September quarter, which places the index 15% up from the previous corresponding period.

“This is the seventh consecutive quarter where we have seen an improvement in the headline affordability index,” said HIA chief economist Harley Dale.

“The run of consecutive improvements in some regional indices is even longer, in some instances showing affordability has reached levels not seen since the early 2000s.”

The result comes after auction results have improved over the past few months. Dale says affordability has been assisted by falling interest rates.

“At the same time, however, transactions volumes have remained historically low as economic uncertainty has weighed heavily on households’ willingness to engage in the residential property market,” he said.

“Tentative signs of a recovery in transactions volumes should hopefully gather legs – another interest rate cut in early December would enhance the prospects of this occurring.”

Shares higher despite fall Wall Street lead

The Australian sharemarket has increased this morning despite following a negative lead from the United States, where investors are still worried over the so-called fiscal cliff.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 34 points or 0.8% to 4458.9, while in the United States the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 42 points or 0.3% to 12,967.3.

Eurozone reaches deal over Greek debt

The eurozone finance ministers and the International Monetary Fund have completed a new agreement on dealing with Greece’s debt.

The agreement is a good step towards making available more loans for the country. Greek finance minister Yannis Stournaras said before the talks that the country had already fulfilled its promises, and that the lenders needed to come through.

“I’m certain we will find a mutually beneficial solution today,” he said.



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