Lending numbers rise as first home buyer numbers fall

Australians continue to buy and build homes in large numbers, but first home buyers are still leaving the market, according to new data.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed there were $27.7 billion of housing finance commitments in June.

That was 17.1 per cent higher than the previous year, and one per cent higher than the May result.

The owner-occupier share of finance commitments reached $17.1 billion – up 11.1 per cent annually and 1.8 per cent monthly.

There were also $10.7 billion of investment housing commitments, which marked a 28.2 per cent annual increase but a 0.3 per cent monthly decrease.

June also featured 52,153 finance commitments by owner occupiers – up 2.3 per cent annually and 0.2 per cent monthly.

That included 43,044 commitments for the purchase of established homes, which was one per cent higher than the previous year but 0.3 per cent lower than the previous month.

It also included 2,854 commitments for the purchase of new homes, which represented a 3.6 per cent annual fall but a 4.6 per cent monthly rise.

There were also 6,255 commitments to build homes, which was up 15.7 per cent on the year and 1.1 per cent on the month.

According to the data, 13.2 per cent of the owner-occupier finance commitments were made by first home buyers, compared to 15.1 per cent in June 2013 and 12.6 per cent in May 2014.

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) advised the Reserve Bank to take note of the latest data.

“The June 2014 lending figures indicate a stable market, and taking into consideration the jump in unemployment to a 12-year high, signal a period in which interest rates should remain at their current levels,” the institute said.

The Housing Industry Association said the June data suggested that home building activity would “continue its strong recovery” in the second half of the year.

“There are already signs that the improved supply of dwellings may have taken some of the heat out of price growth, with dwelling price growth decelerating in 2014,” the association said.

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