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Housing finance improves: ABS

By webmaster
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A marginal increase in housing finance commitments was seen nationally in January, according to recently released statistics.

A jump of 0.8 per cent, an increase for the tenth consecutive month, was recorded by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in the latest housing finance figures.

South Australia and Tasmania were the only states and territories not to see increases, while New South Wales recorded the largest increase, of 1.8 per cent.

Investment housing commitments increased by 0.2 per cent, this is in line with an ongoing modest improvement over the last half of 2011. A jump of 0.7 per cent ($38 million) was also seen in the purchase of dwellings for rent or resale by individuals.

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Pamela Bennett said that increases were seen across the board on varying dwelling types.

“Increases were evident for the purchase of established dwellings (up 0.9 per cent in trend terms) and the construction of dwellings (up 0.4 per cent in trend terms) whilst the number of commitments for the purchase of new dwellings remained unchanged in January 2012,” Ms Bennett said.

“The upturn in lending commitments reflects the November and December interest rate cuts and growing confidence in the housing market,” she said.

“At the end of last year we saw increase in the number of first home buyers, as a percentage of total owner occupied housing commitments. Unfortunately this trend has not continued in the first month of 2012 with first home buyers being more cautious.”

First home buyers decreased to 20.3 per cent, a drop of 0.6 per cent in December 2011.

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