Housing affordability still an issue in WA despite report

Shelter WA notes the findings of a recent report which reveals that Western Australians have the most accessible housing market for first home buyers (FTBs). Nevertheless, housing affordability is still an issue for many Western Australians.

The Bankwest First Time Buyer Report (November 2017) report, released today, shows a decline in the time it takes FTBs in Western Australia to save for a deposit on their first house.

Western Australians need 3.6 years to save for a $94,651 deposit, on a median house, compared with the average Australian FTB which is 4.6 years, the report states.

However, Shelter WA notes that housing affordability still remains challenging for many Western Australians, despite the softening of the prices, with many people, on low incomes, essentially locked out of home ownership.

According to the recently released Housing Industry Forecasting Group, Forecasting Dwelling Commencements in Western Australia report, Western Australians on a very low income in Perth (less than 50 per cent of the median income or around $43,000) would only be able to afford a home priced at $216,300 (the Perth median house price is $504,320). This is assuming they would be able to afford a 10 per cent deposit.

Shelter WA spokesman Stephen Hall said the Bankwest report needs to be read with care as the report also points out that Western Australians experienced the lowest wage growth nation-wide of 1.4 per cent.

“The report is an important snapshot of FTBs throughout Australia,” Mr Hall said.

“However, we must remember that many Western Australians will never be able to save for the deposit to become a FTB.”

Fast Facts:

  • It would take a FTB couple in Western Australia 3.6 years to save a deposit on a median house – a whole year below the national average of 4.6 years.
  • Savings for Western Australian units and houses declined by three months, the largest decline for units and houses respectively for all Australian jurisdictions.
  • Western Australia has the lowest wage growth in the nation at 1.4 per cent.
  • Deposit saving times have been calculated on the basis of a first-time buyer couple setting aside 20 per cent of their combined pre-tax income annually.


Shelter WA’s vision is: All people, living in Western Australia, have housing that enables them to thrive.

Media Contact: Stephen Hall (08) 9325 6660 or 0408426263