10/12/2007 - 10:21

Housing loans fall, despite tight rental market

10/12/2007 - 10:21

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Housing loan activity in Western Australia was the weakest in the nation in October, falling 3.2 per cent, with new data released today showing rising interest rates are taking their toll on home loan borrowers.

Housing loans fall, despite tight rental market

Housing loan activity in Western Australia was the weakest in the nation in October, falling 3.2 per cent, with new data released today showing rising interest rates are taking their toll on home loan borrowers.

Housing finance commitments for owner-occupied residences fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.7 per cent in October, the second consecutive monthly fall, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Economists had forecast a 1.0 per cent increase.

New housing loans in October totalled $22,097 billion, a 1.7 per cent rise on September.

The latest ABS data was compiled before November's interest rates hike but after the August increase and speculation that commercial banks were considering raising mortgage rates independently of the central bank because of higher borrowing costs in overseas markets.

Home loans jumped 1.1 per cent in NSW - Australia's largest housing market - and substantially more in the ACT (8.0 per cent), Tasmania (4.4 per cent)and Northern Territory (2.6 per cent).

WA's weak performance was followed by Queensland (2.7 per cent), South Australia (0.8 per cent) and Victoria (0.4 per cent).

The fall in housing loan activity in Western Australia for October coincides with a flattening out of the rental market over the September quarter.

New data published today in the Mortgage Choice/Real Estate Institute of Australia Real Estate Market Facts report, shows Perth's quarterly median rent for a 3-bedroom house remains unchanged at $300 per week for the September quarter.

The median rent for two-bedroom and other dwellings in Perth, however, edged 3.6 per cent higher to $290 per week during the period.

Darwin is now the most expensive rental location, with a 34.4 per cent annual increase in the median rent for a three bedroom house to $440 per week and a 51.1 per cent annual increase in the median rent for two bedroom other dwellings to $340 per week.

Sydney and Canberra renters also pay $340 median weekly rent for two bedroom other dwellings.

The cheapest rental location is Adelaide at $255 per week for a three bedroom house, and $205 per week for a two bedroom other dwelling, although this represented annual growth of 8.5 per cent and 7.9 per cent respectively.

Accross Australia, residential rental vacancy rates have averaged an all-time low of 1.9% for the past two and a half years.

This compares with a 20-year average of 3.6 per cent. The industry benchmarks anything below a 3.0 per cent vacancy rate as indicative of an undersupply of rental accommodation.

ABS figures show all states and territories experienced population growth in the 12 months to June 30. They ranged from 0.7 per cent in Tasmania to 2.3 per cent in WA.

 

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