Property news: what you need to know this week

Welcome to the weekly property news! We've got it all covered - clearance rates, affordability and more. Starting off this week, a lot of people are talking about a Perth property renaissance - but it depends who you ask:

Although not all data is positive — house prices are still falling, home loan arrears in WA are rising and home loan commitments are falling — most data indicates the WA property market is emerging from the slump that followed the mining boom. And with house prices falling in Sydney and Melbourne, it may be that property investors once again start to look west.

Looking at investment, there some clear data coming out of China on the decline of investment from there, however, this was due more to changes within China rather than  a turning away from the Australian market.

According to Australia’s FIRB, a total of 13,198 residential real estate applications were approved in the 2016/17 financial year, totalling $25.2 billion, well down on the 40,149 approvals, totalling $72.4 billion, granted in the 2015/16 financial year.

Whilst some are wondering if the interest rate hikes will slow down the market, data did show that auction clearance rates did rise slightly last week.

Some eyebrows were raised after Westpac increased their rates last week, and 3 other major banks followed, but NAB bucked the trend, saying they wanted to rebuild customer trust.

Also this week, Core Logic released their report on Housing Affordability. And whilst the comment on struggling renters coming from Malcolm Gunning and the Real Estate Institute of Australia was poorly executed, it is interesting to note this from Core Logic:

"Relative to buying a house, renting is relatively affordable across Australia," CoreLogic head of research, Tim Lawless, said.

"26 to 28 per cent of household income is dedicated to a landlord.

"If you're paying down a mortgage like [in] Sydney, households are paying 48 to 50 per cent of their gross annual income paying down a mortgage."

But he accepts low-income earners are suffering.

- Tenants unable to pay the rent should get two jobs or move to Adelaide or Perth, Real Estate Institute says

To end on a positive note, this also from Core Logic's head data researcher:

Have a great week everyone!