Investor housing finance on downward trend

Finance approvals for investor housing are on a downward trend, according to the latest housing finance figures released by the ABS.

The value of investment housing commitments decreased by 1.5 per cent in May in trend terms. This follows a fall from April 2017 and is well down from its 2015 peak.

REIA President Malcolm Gunning said the May figures are the first to show the impact of the actions by regulators and banks to dampen investor demand for property by limiting bank lending.

“Overall the figures for May 2017 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments decreased by 0.4 per cent,” Mr Gunning said.

“If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.1 per cent and is the ninth consecutive month of increases.

“In trend terms, decreases were recorded in all states except the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania, with Queensland having the largest decrease of 0.9 per cent. The ACT increased by 0.5 per cent and Tasmania remained flat.

“In trend terms, the number of established dwellings purchase commitments decreased by 0.6 per cent, while new dwelling construction increased by 1.0 per cent and the purchase of new dwellings increased by 0.4 per cent,” he said.

At the same time, the proportion of first-home buyers, as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments, increased to 14.0 per cent and is the highest since July 2015. The number of first-home buyer commitments increased by 28.9 per cent for the month and is the highest since October 2014.

“The May figures show that the market is adjusting, with owner-occupiers and first-home buyers returning to the market as investor activity decreases, and is worth noting that this is before the recent concessions introduced for first-home buyers,” concluded Mr Gunning.

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Azal Khan

Azal Khan was a in-house features writer for Elite Agent Magazine.