A drop in home loan approvals may put enough pressure on the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) to consider a rate cut next month.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for January 2012 show a small 1.24 per cent drop in the number of home loan approvals from December 2011.
“While we had seen nine months of consecutively increasing activity, and January is traditionally a slower month, stalling in this sector does provide further evidence for a rate cut in coming months," Loan Market corporate spokesperson Paul Smith said.
Following the removal of stamp duty concessions in New South Wales, the state recorded a 6.3 per cent drop in approvals.
“Nationally, there were only 600 less approvals from December 2011 to January 2012, but in NSW specifically, the number dropped by just over a 1,000,” said Mr Smith.
“With lenders now appearing to move independently of the RBA’s rate decisions, many consumers are uncertain of the direction of home loan rates.”
In seasonally adjusted terms, the Northern Territory had the worst decline, at 8.3 per cent, followed by New South Wales. The only states to record any significant increase were Western Australia (3.8 per cent), Tasmania (3.2 per cent) and South Australia (1.3 per cent).