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Housing down

TOTAL housing commitments seasonally adjusted fell 4.1 per cent in Western Australia, or by 262, in February.

Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance figures showed that other States to record a fall were Victoria (down 6.5 per cent), Tasmania, (7.6 per cent) and Queensland (0.5 per cent).

Across Australia, the percentage of first home buyers declined to 15.5 per cent, the lowest point since the first home buyers grant was introduced three years ago. In February 2002, first home buyers accounted for more than 20 per cent of housing commitments.

In addition, the use of fixed interest loans has been on a steady decline as interest rates remain at historically low levels. In February 2002, 8.2 per cent of loans had fixed interest of two years or longer. A year later and the percentage of those using the fixed loan facilities had fallen to less than 6 per cent.

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