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Increased demand from first home buyers and improved consumer sentiment has generated growth in the home finance sector, new research has revealed.
According to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, home loan approvals nationwide were up 1.4 per cent in November and up 1.5 per cent year-on-year.
First home buyers accounted for 20 per cent of all activity – up from 19.1 per cent in October.
The data represents the eighth consecutive month of growth in home finance – a positive sign heading into 2012, according to Loan Market Group’s chief operating officer Dean Rushton.
“The consecutive growth seen in the second half of 2011 should continue while consumers act upon repeated rate cuts by the RBA in November and December,“ Mr Rushton said.
“Consumers will likely remain confident in the housing finance market with the strong possibility of a rate cut in February.
“This should fuel a significant number of approvals in the coming months, which will stimulate many struggling sectors in the economy.”
Mr Rushton said approvals in New South Wales were up 4.9 per cent from October, 2011, and 9.4 per cent for the year.
“In NSW we’re seeing a significant demand brought forward by first home buyers acting before the 2011 deadline for the stamp duty exemption,” he said.
The stamp duty exemption was lifted for purchase contracts signed before January 1, 2012, which should help finance activity remain high in NSW for the start of 2012 as those deals obtained financing.