The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows first home buyers are still bottom of the run when it comes to housing finance.
Figures for July, 2013, show that in trend terms, the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose by 1.6% (1.5% if you exclude refinancing), compared to an increase of 2.1% in June and 2.4% in May.
All states experienced an increase, with the largest jumps coming in the ACT and Queensland, at 2% and 1.9% respectively, in trend terms.
“There are increases in the purchase of established dwellings (up 1.8% in trend terms), the purchase of new dwellings (up 1.4% in trend terms) and the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings (up 0.2% in trend terms),” says REIA president, Peter Bushby.
However, the proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied finance commitments fell to 14.7%, compared to 15/1% in June.
“The figure remains persistently low compared to the long-run average proportion of 20.1%, despite seven interest rate cuts since November 2011,” adds Bushby. “In large part, this drop can be attributed to state governments withdrawing previous levels of support for first home owners buying established dwellings and it is established dwellings that 80% of first home buyers prefer.”
The value of investment housing commitments rose by 0.8%, in trend terms, in July resulting in over a year of consecutive monthly increases.
“With the proportion of first home buyers remaining consistently below the long term average, this needs to be a high priority issue for the incoming government.”