Cheaper to buy in Sydney now than 25 years ago

Yes, Sydney property prices are expensive.

And yes the property pessimists are waiting for the bubble to burst.

But there’s nothing new about either of these things and, believe it or not, paying off a mortgage is easier today than it was in 1989.

New BIS Shrapnel research that shows meeting standard mortgage repayments in 1989 required almost half the average household’s income, while today it requires just over a third.bubble

Current homebuyers are also spending less of their income on mortgage repayments than they did the last time Sydney had a housing boom in 2004.

Back then, repaying the average mortgage required 40.9 per cent of household income.

So maybe the bubble won’t burst.

These findings give a different perspective  to the arguments that suggest property prices are so high that they can’t keep rising, showing that while housing costs remain high, they are more affordable than in times past.

In reality today’s low interest rates mean homeowners would find mortgage payments less of a burden today than they would have in the late 1980s.

Proportion of income spent on mortgage repayments:

 The following chart shows that the proportion of household income it would require to pay a mortgage on a median priced house over the past three decades

 the proportion of household income it would require to pay a Sydney mortgage


BIS Shrapnel’s research took into account mortgages taken on 75 per cent of the value of a median priced house, implying a 25 per cent deposit.

Such a deposit was equivalent to roughly a year’s household income in 1989, but would be 20 months’ worth of income at current house prices.

Want more of this type of information?


Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit

'Cheaper to buy in Sydney now than 25 years ago' have 1 comment

  1. June 24, 2015 @ 8:41 pm David

    Also you could lock in for a 5 years fixed interest rate of %15. You don’t miss those days.


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