The Housing Industry Association/Commonwealth Bank First Home Buyer Affordability Index fell by 2.2 per cent in Perth over the March 2008 quarter, with the index dropping by 10.8 per cent in regional Western Australia over the same period. In the March quarter of 2008 interest rates increased by 0.8 of a percentage point on account of two official RBA rate rises and several retail rate increases, leading to average home loan repayments increasing by 3.1 per cent to $3,185 per month in Perth and 13 per cent to $3,379 in Regional Western Australia. HIA's Western Australia Executive Director, Mr John Dastlik said today's report highlighted the importance of the Federal Government's housing programs and the need for urgent planning and taxation reform across all levels of government. The report showed that affordability worsened in all capital cities with the exception of Sydney and a leveling out in Hobart. For the quarter, the greatest falls in affordability were recorded in Brisbane and Canberra.
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