Surprise fall for new home lending in Australia
|Monday, 14 January 2013|
Lending for new homes is falling in Australia with the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing that it fell by 4.8% in November 2012.
The 4.8% monthly decline in new home lending was driven by a fall of 1.8% in loans for construction and a 10.3% fall in loans for the purchase of new dwellings. The number of loans for existing property, net of refinancing, declined by 1.3%.
The total number of seasonally adjusted loans for the construction and purchase of new homes declined in everywhere apart from the Australia Capital Territory where the increased by 18%. The number of loans declined 0.1% in New South Wales, 11% in Victoria, 1.4% in Queensland, 1.7% in South Australia, 4.1% in Western Australia, 27% in Tasmania and 5.1% in the Northern Territory.
The figures highlight the tenuous nature of the forecast housing recovery in 2013, according to the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australias residential building industry.
ґIt has been encouraging to see steady improvements in lending for construction and the purchase of new homes throughout 2012, particularly in the latter half of the year. This is one indicator suggesting new home building activity could improve in 2013, said HIA economist, Geordan Murray.
ґHowever, the November data provides a timely reminder of just how fragile conditions are at present. We would obviously like to have seen the housing finance record a positive move in November, particularly following the cut to interest rates in October, he explained.
But the organisation believes it is likely to be a monthly blip. ґWe dont consider the overall picture to be negative. The number of loans for construction and the purchase of new homes are well above the levels we were seeing this time a year ago,Ғ Murray pointed out.
In the second half of 2012 we had a number of interest rate cuts as well as substantial changes to government incentives in a number of states but it is still too early to untangle the impact these policy drivers are having on new home building at this point in time. We will be monitoring the housing finance data over the coming months to gauge the effects,ђ he added.
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