Housing finance extends its rebound

by Miklos Bolza10 Aug 2017
The demand for residential home loans has increased for the second month in a row, according to the latest finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The newest data from the ABS shows just over 54,400 home loans were approved over the month of June, an increase of 0.5% from the previous month.

“June was the second month in a row that we saw a lift in home loan demand,” said Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell.
 
“Winter is traditionally a slower period for the housing market, so to see an increase in dwelling commitments is an encouraging sign for both the property sector and the broader economy.”

That interest rates continue to hover around record low levels means that the cost of borrowing has also remained affordable, keeping heat in the housing market, Flavell said.

The ABS figures also show that the value of all dwelling commitments increased by 0.8% to $33.3bn over the month of June, including an increase in the value of both owner occupier and investment loans.

“The total value of all investment loans written rose 1.6% to $12.5bn throughout the month of June. This result is somewhat surprising given the amount of changes we have seen lenders make to their investment pricing and policy,” Flavell said.
 
“Australia’s lenders have continued to tweak the policy and pricing on their investment products, which has, in some instances, made it harder for would-be investors to qualify for a loan.”

Looking ahead, Flavell said that he expected overall demand for home lending to remain strong.

“As we have seen from the data, the market is still buoyant. And, with interest rates likely to remain low for some time, I would expect to see strong home loan demand over the coming months.”

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