The latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal new home building is set to continue another year of welcomed growth in 2015.
Housing construction loans to investors and owner occupiers alike increased at the end of 2014, with owner occupier loans for the construction of dwellings up 9.8% from the previous year.
In contrast, lending to owner occupiers after newly-constructed dwellings fell by 1.8% during December, and by 4% over the fourth quarter.
“Housing construction loans, in both the owner occupier and investor segments of the market, finished 2014 on a strong note,” HIA Economist Diwa Hopkins said.
“This provides a very positive signal for activity in the residential construction sector in 2015.”
Hopkins said that although owner occupier lending levels have remained strong overall, there are signs the growth of 2013 and 2014 may be moderating.
She said the results show that first home buyer activity in the market is higher than previously thought with first home buyers accounting for 15% of total lending in 2014.
Compared with 2013, all states saw an increase in owner occupier loans for new housing in 2014, except Victoria, which dropped by 1.9%.
Tasmania had an increase of 74.2% in 2014, while Northern Territory had 11.8%, Western Australia 11.1%, the Australian Capital Territory 5.9%, New South Wales 2.9%, Queensland, 2.8% and South Australia, 0.3%.