New home lending experienced a slight upswing in May, according to ABS housing finance figures released late last week, signalling positive news for brokers in all but one state.
The number of loans for the construction and purchase of new owner-occupied homes rose by 0.6% in May, to a level that is 18.1% higher than a year earlier.
"Today's figures show that new home lending to owner occupiers is continuing to consolidate the stronger gains made earlier on in the year. The current pace of improvement, however, is still quite modest," says HIA economist, Diwa Hopkins.
"Looking at new home lending across the states and territories, it is encouraging to see that these improvements have been reasonably broad-based. In most jurisdictions, the number of loans over the three months to May 2013 is substantially higher than 12 months ago.”
However, Tasmania remains an exception to the rule, with the state continuing to suffer a ‘particularly protracted decline’, according to Hopkins.
"In terms of lending to investors, in aggregate, the value of lending was up by 1.5% in May. Much of this improvement was driven by lending for new homes, which increased by 17.2%, following last month's weak result.”
In May 2013 the seasonally adjusted number of housing finance commitments (for both new and established owner-occupied housing) increased by 1.0% in New South Wales, 2.6% in Victoria, 3.9% in Queensland, 0.6% in South Australia, 3.4% in Western Australia, 1.7% in Tasmania and 4.7% in the Northern Territory. The total number of housing finance commitments fell by 0.5% in the Australian Capital Territory.