Not too long ago there was talk about the affordability issues faced by Sydney workers when it came to securing housing in the harbour city. Many suggested the essential services we rely on, such as teaching, nursing and labouring were in danger of diminishing as many professionals migrated to more affordable cities.
A recent Bankwest survey has revealed that a similar trend is now taking shape in Perth, as housing affordability for WA’s 46,000 police officers, nurses, emergency workers and teachers becomes an increasing issue and pushes them to city’s outer suburbs and beyond.
According to the survey findings, which uses a cut off point of five times the average salary to determine an area’s affordability, Perth’s western suburbs were the most unaffordable with Peppermint Grove topping the list at 49.9 times the average salary.
Things are not much better in the so-called mortgage belt suburbs either with the likes of Stirling (8.6), Vincent (10.7) and Canning (6.6) all classified as unaffordable.
Still providing entry level housing is the Midwest town of Mount Magnet – the most affordable location in the state at 0.9 on the scale – second only to the NSW region of Brewarrina (0.6), which is the most affordable place overall.
Throughout the country, WA dominated the list of the most expensive regional areas, with Rosebourne in the lead at 9.6. Meanwhile Port Hedland (9.5), East Pilbara (8.2), Broome (7.6) and Gingin (6.8) all featured in the top 10.
Bankwest senior analyst Tim Crawford said using a marker of five times the average salary was standard practice.
“It’s an arbitrary level but it does give you a point of comparison over time,” he said.
“Looking across Perth the majority of key workers would struggle to find an affordable property, and it’s just as bad in regional areas.”
Bankwest business chief executive Ian Corfield said many of these workers were being forced to rent for longer or buy in the outer suburbs and face a long commute into work.
“These are the essential workers which West Australians rely on every day to provide important services and they face the possibility of being priced out of housing in the communities in which they serve,” he said.
“And although we are highlighting how tough going it is for key workers, it reflects the broader affordability issues which affect first-home buyers in Western Australia.”
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