Home loans fall in Australia month on month

Taylor Scott International News

Home loans to owner occupiers in Australia fell 7.3% in January but those approved to investors increased by 1.6%, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The number of loans to owner occupiers for the construction and purchase of new homes declined by 5.3% and the number of loans to owner occupiers buying established homes, excluding refinancing, fell by 7.9%. ‘Lending figures indicate that the investor market performed a little stronger. Lending to investors building or constructing new homes, however, was slightly weaker during the month but remained markedly stronger than this time a year ago,’ said Housing Industry Association economist, Geordan Murray. He pointed out that these results follow the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority’s December letter to lending institutions outlining their intention to increase the level of supervisory oversight of mortgage lending. The letter detailed some specific areas of concern noting high LVR loans, fast growth in lending to investors, and mortgage affordability in a (future) higher interest rate environment. ‘It is too early to determine whether APRA’s communication has had an impact in January. It will be interesting to observe the lending figures over the next few months to see how lenders respond,’ explained Murray. ‘It is important that the new home building sector is not pushed back into a credit squeeze whereby a lack of readily available finance becomes an industry wide problem,’ he added. A breakdown of the figures show that on an annual basis the total number of owner occupier loans for new housing in January 2015 increased only in Tasmania which saw a 67.3% year on year rise. In New South Wales the number of loans fell by 3%, in Queensland by 6.9T, in the Australian Capital Territory by 9.9%, in Western Australia by 12.3%, in Victoria by 12.4%, in the Northern Territory by 17.6% and in South Australia by 23.5%. Continue reading →

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