Lending for homes in Australia down almost 10% compared to a year ago

The total number of new home loans approved in Australia declined again during June which has led to concerns being voiced about a tightening in the mortgage market.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the total number of new housing loans to owner occupiers fell by 0.5% on seasonally adjusted terms was 9.1% lower than 12 months earlier.

During June, the number of owner occupier loans for new home construction fell by 0.4% and the volume of loans for new home purchase declined a little more sharply during the month with a fall of 0.8%.

A breakdown of the figures show that compared with 12 months ago, the number of owner occupier loans for the construction or purchase of new dwellings increased in New South Wales by 12.9%, in South Australia by 9% and in the ACT by 0.5%.

But they fell elsewhere with the largest fall in Western Australia with a decline of 21.4%, followed by a fall of 20.8% in Tasmania and a 20.8% fall as well in the Northern Territory.

Other states also saw loan approvals go down but at a less steep rate. They fell by 7.8% in Queensland and by 4.8% in Victoria.

‘This is the second consecutive monthly decline in new home lending. An adequate flow of housing finance is vital to ensure that the pipeline of new housing supply meets Australia’s long term needs,’ said Housing Industry Association senior economist Shane Garrett.

‘We’re concerned by the apparent tightening of home lending conditions in both the owner occupier and investor markets as a result of APRA intervention,’ he added.

‘Safeguarding the integrity of Australia’s financial system is obviously of paramount importance, but recent regulatory intervention risks obstructing new home building and damaging the economy’s long term growth capacity,’ he warned.