Home lending momentum spills into new year

by Miklos Bolza13 Feb 2017
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that December was the strongest month of 2016 with regards to owner occupier loans.

Geordan Murray, economist from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said that this offered some positive signs for where trends would go in the coming year.

“Netting out refinancing, the number of loans for owner-occupiers hit its highest monthly level for 2016 in December,” he said. “That’s a very good sign that Australia’s housing market will hold up well in 2017. The new home lending market discovered fresh momentum in the second half of 2016.”

The number of owner occupier loans for new and established dwellings increased by 2.4% in December. This rose by 2.9% for established dwellings and 0.9% for new dwellings.

In the same time period, construction loans to owner occupiers dropped by 0.3% while loans for the purchase of new homes (construction and new purchase) went up by 3.2%.

“It appears that borrowers have again taken advantage of the lower interest rate environment as evidenced by December’s positive results for new home finance,” Murray said.

Broken down by states, the increase or decrease over the year prior to December 2016 in the number of owner occupier loans for the construction or purchase of a new home was as follows:
  • New South Wales (-2.9%)
  • Victoria (+3.9%)
  • Queensland (+4.9%)
  • Western Australia (-22.4%)
  • South Australia (-14.6%)
  • Tasmania (-11.9%)
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