Higher housing debt load not straining budgets, RBA data shows

John Kavanagh

Households are taking on more housing debt relative to their incomes but low interest rates mean that repayments are not eating into income, according to the latest Reserve Bank household finance data.

The ratio of housing debt to household income rose from 136.1 per cent in the March quarter to 137.1 per cent in the June quarter. The ratio was 133.3 per cent in the June quarter last year.

The ratio of housing interest payments to household income remained steady at 7.2 per cent, quarter on quarter. The ratio was 7.6 per cent in the June quarter last year.

The RBA figures also show that the rate of growth in housing asset values is outstripping the growth in debt.

The ratio of housing debt to housing assets fell from 28.2 per cent in the March quarter to 28.1 per cent in the June quarter. The ratio was 29.2 per cent in the June quarter last year.

The ratio of housing assets to income rose from 428.9 per cent in the March quarter to 433.9 per cent in the June quarter. The ratio was 406.8 per cent in the June quarter last year.