Loans for new homes increase across most of Australia

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that housing finance increased slightly in September but below the surface the results are very patchy.

The total number of seasonally adjusted loans net of refinancing increased by 1.2% as did (net) loans for established dwellings. The number of loans for the purchase of a new dwelling was up by 9% in September, but the number of loans for construction fell by 6.3%.

The figures also shows that the total number of seasonally adjusted loans for the construction and purchase of new homes increased by 5.1% in New South Wales, by 2.8% in Queensland, by 1.6% in Western Australia, by 28.1% in Tasmania, by 2.9% in the Northern Territory, and by 2.1% in the Australian Capital Territory.
The number of loans fell by 9.1% in Victoria and was down by 11.8% in South Australia.

‘It really was a mixed bag for housing finance outcomes in the month of September 2012. At least some areas of finance for property are looking a little better, but a broad based recovery is proving elusive,’ said Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale.
‘In terms of owner occupiers, there is still some growth in the first time buyer market, but the modest improvement in finance to trade up buyers ran out of steam in the September 2012 quarter. The number of loans for the purchase of a new dwelling continues to mount an encouraging recovery, however the number of loans for construction is back to its lowest level since January,’ he explained.

‘The divergence extends to investor finance as well. The profile for investment lending for existing property is looking slightly better, but for new property it’s at a two and half year low,’ he also pointed out.

‘If you’re financially set to do so, now is a very good time to build a home. We have a very competitive market, lower borrowing costs, and greater availability of trades people. Hopefully evidence of a broader based recovery emerges soon,’ added Dale.