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Home lending hits 2000 levels

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The number of Australians taking out home loans has dropped to the lowest level in a decade, according to the latest figures.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics found the number of home loans approvals are now at their lowest level since 2000, with only 186,237 coming through since January.

“It’s certainly discouraging to see the number of people obtaining home financing fall below levels we saw in the early 2000s when unemployment numbers are well below average,” Loan Market Group chief operating officer Dean Rushton said.

Mr Rushton said he applauded the Reserve Bank's decision on Tuesday to leave the official cash rate at 4.75 per cent for the seventh consecutive month.

“Consumer confidence remains low and we’re seeing them holding off spending and borrowing in most sectors,” he said.

“In particular the household sector continues to be extremely cautious towards spending and borrowing.

“With this in mind, I strongly believe the RBA can leave rates intact for the remainder of 2011.”

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