The latest housing figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) suggest owner occupiers are not responding to interest rate cuts.
Data from the ABS found the number of owner-occupied housing commitments fell by 0.5 per cent across the month of February – marking the fifth consecutive drop.
The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president, Peter Bushby, said it was concerning to see owner occupiers not responding to the easing in monetary policy.
“Of particular concern is the drop in first home buyers to the lowest level in over eight years,” Mr Bushby said.
“The proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments decreased by 0.6 percentage points to 14.4 per cent compared to the revised figure for January of 15 per cent. The proportion remains persistently low compared to the long-run average proportion of 20.1 per cent.
“In large part, this drop can be attributed to some state governments withdrawing previous levels of support for first home owners buying existing dwellings.”
On a slightly brighter note, the value of investment housing commitments rose by 1.5 per cent, in trend terms, in February resulting in the ninth consecutive monthly increase.