THE number of housing finance commitments in Western Australia rose 5 per cent for the month of October, seasonally adjusted, compared to the previous month, but remains almost 20 per cent down on the same time last year. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the total number of housing finance commitments for October reached 6,457, a slight recovery on the previous mont,h which was the lowest result since December 2002. The total value of commitments rose 6.7 per cent to $1.6 billion, reversing five months of consecutive falls. Finance for the purchase of established dwellings was the biggest contributor at $1.4 billion, up 12.5 per cent on September 2008 but down 14 per cent on October 2007. Construction finance rose 12 per cent for the month to $202.8 million.