Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show investor finance commitments rose from March to April to a new record high, while first home buyers continued to fall.
Investors’ market share rose by a seasonally-adjusted 2.3%in April and by 30% over the year. This accounted for $10.9 billion, or 39.4% of loans written. The highest ever was in last December, when investment loans reached 39.6%.
But first home buyers fell by a non-seasonally adjusted 7.3% in April and represented just 12.3% of total owner-occupied commitments – the equal lowest share on record.
The number of first home buyers was down 12.7% over the year.
Over the three months to April the number of construction loans increased by 5.4% to reach the highest quarterly level since early 2010.
“There is still upward momentum to lending for the construction of new dwellings, even allowing for a decline in the seasonally adjusted number and value of such loans in the month of April,” said Housing Industry Association chief economist Dr Harley Dale.
The trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.4% from March to April. Investment housing commitments rose 0.5% and owner occupied housing commitments rose 0.4%.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 1.7% from March to April.
“Today’s update is consistent with further growth in detached and low density dwelling construction into the new fiscal year,” said Dale.
“This positive profile for new dwelling construction by owner occupiers is complimented by the value of lending for investment in new rental stock being at its highest since before the GFC.”
Overall, the profile for housing finance is a positive one for residential construction activity, he said.
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