This is from todays Advertiser:
SOUTH Australians face a perfect storm in the housing market as affordability issues mount and the availability of rental properties shrinks.
A combination of tighter lending criteria and increasing property prices is attributed to locking prospective buyers out of home ownership and forcing people to rent.
Latest Real Estate Institute of SA statistics show that metropolitan Adelaide's rental vacancy rate in January was a meagre 0.33 per cent.
Ironfish Money's Alex Filipovic said lending institutions were much more prudent post global financial crisis and in most cases required a 20 per cent deposit if the buyer wanted to avoid paying an upfront fee for Lenders Mortgage Insurance. A 20 per cent deposit on Adelaide's median-priced property in 2010 would be equal to $80,750.
Mr Filipovic said some institutions would take smaller deposits but this was tempered with the prospect of paying up to or more than $10,000 in insurance.
"Since around mid-2009, we've seen the banks tighten their loan to value ratios, making it harder for borrowers without significant deposits to get a home loan," he said.
Even a more modest $300,000 property would require a $71,330 outlay, consisting of a 20 per cent deposit and stamp duty, to avoid lender's mortgage insurance.
Real Estate Institute of SA president Greg Nybo said many prospective home buyers simply could not afford to get into the market.
"Property prices have been going up much more than any increase in wages," he said. "Say someone is looking at a $250,000 home, they're going to need at least $40,000 to get into it." Mr Nybo said that fewer people buying their own homes was forcing more to look at rentals, creating "a vicious cycle".
"As people look at rental properties and choose to stay in rental accommodation for longer, the pool of homes available for rent is shrinking, which means we are going to see rental prices increasing," he said.
Raine & Horne chief executive officer Kevin Magee said: "A 3 per cent vacancy rate is generally the industry standard as being seen as a fairly balanced market."
"When you get below 1 per cent, it makes being a tenant and getting a property to live in really hard work."
Aspiring first-home buyer Natalie Ture, 25, said she hoped to buy by the end of the year but feared her dream was fading.