Increase in lending for new homes across the board in Australia

There has been an increase in lending for new homes in Australia to both owner occupiers and investors, according to the latest housing figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data shows that there was a 4.3% increase in the number of owner occupier loans for construction, while the equivalent number of loans for the purchase of a new property rose by 1.6% in April.

The figures include an increase in lending for investment in new residential dwellings which took the annual value to in excess of $9 billion for the first time ever.

Harley Dale, chief economist of the Housing Industry Association, said the number of first home buyer loans for owner occupiers remains low, but is running at its highest annual level in a year, although that of course excludes those first time buyers entering the investment market.

He also pointed out that the number of trade-up buyer loans reached its highest level since prior to the global financial crisis and described the data as a positive update for the new home building industry.

A regional breakdown of the figures, however, shows wide disparities in new housing conditions. The total number of owner occupier loans for new housing increased in six out of eight states and territories.

Over the three months to April this year the seasonally adjusted estimate of new loans increased by 4.9% in New South Wales, by 4.7% in Victoria, by 3.4% in Queensland, by
1.6% in South Australia and by 20.6% in the Northern Territory.

The number of loans fell over the same period by 4.4% in Western Australia, by 10.3% in Tasmania and by 8.7% in the Australian Capital Territory.