Canberra property market tough for low earners

Low-income earners in Canberra are struggling to get a foot on the property ladder thanks to a dearth of affordable housing.

The city has been labelled the worst in the country when it comes to low-cost housing, with fewer than 140 properties that are suitable of those with limited earning power.

According to Anglicare Australia's annual Rental Affordability Snapshot, there were no properties available in eight of the 12 low-income categories and the city was well behind Sydney and Brisbane in terms of renting.

General manager of Anglicare Australia Jenny Kitchen told the Sydney Morning Herald: "There is no other major urban centre in Australia that is unable to supply any affordable housing for families on a minimum-wage income."

She said that 40 per cent of the city's workforce were in public sector employment and so could afford higher rents and home loan repayments.

Meanwhile, Liegh Watson Anglicare's Shelter executive noted that housing costs have leapt by 63 per cent in Canberra over the past six years.

Despite money pressures, however, demand for home loans rose by 1.5 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.

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