Continued Improvement in Housing Finance – REIA

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the latest housing figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that, except for first home buyers, there is a developing trend of increasing housing finance commitments.

Housing finance figures for April 2013 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments rose by 1.4 per cent – on top of the 1.4 per cent total increase for the first three months of 2013.

If refinancing is excluded, the increase in trend terms for April is 1.2 per cent and is the fifth consecutive monthly rise.

REIA President, Peter Bushby says, “Increases were recorded in all States and Territories except the Northern Territory where the fall was 2.7 per cent. The biggest rise was in NSW, up 2.1 per cent in trend terms.”

“Increases were evident for the purchase of established dwellings (up 1.2 per cent in trend terms), the purchase of new dwellings (up 3.5 per cent, in trend terms) and the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings (up 1.5 per cent, in trend terms),” Mr Bushby continued.

“The proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments was 14.3 per cent in April compared to the March figure of 14.2 per cent. The proportion remains persistently low compared to the long-run average proportion of 20.1 per cent.”

“It’s a concern that first home buyers are going against the trend and in large part, this drop can be attributed to some State Governments withdrawing previous levels of support for first home owners buying existing dwellings.”

The value of investment housing commitments rose by 1.2 per cent, in trend terms, in April resulting in the eleventh consecutive monthly increase.

“It’s encouraging to see buyers responding to interest rate cuts and the stronger outlook for housing,” concluded Mr Bushby

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