September new home lending data a mixed bag

by AB12 Nov 2013

The latest housing finance data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows new home lending during September increased only marginally.

Housing Industry Association (HIA) senior economist, Shane Garrett, says that the number of loans advanced for the purchase and construction of new homes edged up by 0.4% to 8,366 in September, on a seasonally adjusted basis.

“This represents the seventh consecutive month in which lending has been stuck at around the 8,300 level...Despite encouraging signs of increased activity in the housing market, today's figures continue to demonstrate how restrictive lending is one of the factors holding back activity," says Garrett.

However, there is some positive news. Garrett says activity is ‘considerably stronger’ than this time last year, with the annual increase in lending for home construction up 6.3% during the September quarter.

"Lending activity for new home purchases was 27.5% higher than a year earlier. Other housing market indicators like prices, approvals and sales confirm that the industry is entering into a strong recovery," he says.

During the September quarter, the number of loans to owner occupiers for the construction and purchase of new homes rose by 0.5%. This included a 0.8% increase in the number of loans for the construction of a new dwelling and a 0.1% rise in loans for the purchase of new homes. Excluding refinancing, the number of loans to owner occupiers for home purchase rose by 1.5% in the September 2013 quarter.