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Commitments down, a reflection of prickly trading conditions: REIA

18 January 2019 Tim Neary
Family moving in

The November 2018 housing finance figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of loans for housing continues to decline, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia.

REIA president Adrian Kelly said that a noticeable trend is emerging.

“Overall, the figures for November 2018 show that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments decreased by 0.2 [of a percentage point] — the 14th consecutive month of decreases,” he said.

“If refinancing is excluded, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments decreased by 0.2 [of a percentage point] — also the 14th consecutive month of decreases and the lowest since October 2014.”

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Mr Kelly said that decreases were recorded in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, and that the rest recorded increases.

“The largest decrease of 0.7 [of a percentage point] was in New South Wales, and the largest increase of 2.2 per cent was in the ACT.”

Mr Kelly said that the value of investment housing commitments decreased by 1.5 per cent in November and is currently at 2013 levels.

“The number of established dwellings purchase commitments decreased by 0.1 [of a percentage point], while the purchase of new dwellings decreased by 0.6 [of a percentage point] and new dwelling construction fell by 0.9 [of a percentage point].

“The proportion of first home buyers, as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments, increased in November to 18.3 per cent from 18.1 per cent in October, and the number of loans to first home buyers increased by 3.5 per cent.”

Mr Kelly said that there are a number of reasons behind the declines.

“The continued decline in housing finance reflects the slowing market, APRA restrictions on investors which went too far for too long, the fallout from the royal commission into banking and concerns about changes to property taxation and its impact should there be a change in government.

“With the government formulating its 2019 budget, the property sector should be at the forefront of its considerations so that it doesn’t become a drag on the economy.”

Commitments down, a reflection of prickly trading conditions: REIA
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