Rental affordability improved during the June Quarter to the lowest proportion of income required to meet rent payments since June 2008.

The latest edition of the REIA Housing Affordability Report found the proportion of income required to meet rent payments decreased to 23.8%, a fall of 1.2 percentage points over the quarter and a decrease of 0.3 percentage points compared to the same quarter 2018.

But Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly says housing affordability declined marginally across the country in the June Quarter. With the exception of Western Australia, housing affordability declined in all states and territories.

Despite that, the number of loans to first-home buyers continued to increase. Kelly says the total number of loans increased 6.6% over the June Quarter.

“Loans to owner-occupier first-home buyers have recorded increases in five of the six months of 2019,” he says. “This upward trend in first-home buyer loans is expected to continue.”