Aussie homeowners 'are coping well'

Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) governor Glenn Stevens believes that homeowners across the nation are coping well financially.

In his "Lucky Country" speech to the Anika Foundation Luncheon in Sydney, Mr Stevens stated that mortgage repayments on a median-priced house are now at their lowest in a decade (apart from a period during the global financial crisis).

He added that the number of households that are ahead on their home loan payments is currently very high. This, he feels, is encouraging, as it gives people an extra financial buffer should they suddenly fall on hard times.

Mr Stevens produced a chart, which confirmed that Aussies are spending around 22 per cent of their overall income on their mortgages.

"Dwelling prices have already declined – relative to income – and it is in fact not obvious that they are particularly high compared with most countries," he remarked.

"Housing 'affordability' has improved significantly; over 99 per cent of bank-held mortgages are being serviced fully."

The RBA governor also suggested that although a housing market crash is not impossible, there are currently fewer warning signs than there were five years ago and he is unconvinced that the "property bubble" will eventually pop.

His comments appear to be very encouraging for Aussie homeowners, but some property industry experts are far less confident about the future of the nation's housing sector.

The Housing Industry Association (HIA) recently revealed that the market is actually in recession and that the existing property framework is unsustainable.

One of the biggest problems facing the sector at the moment is a lack of supply and figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the number of new developments getting the green light fell again in the first quarter of 2012 when compared to the previous year.

The HIA believes the government needs to intervene in order to give the housing market a timely boost and further interest rate cuts may be required tio stimulate growth.

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