17/01/2019 - 14:54

WA home loans up 2.4%

17/01/2019 - 14:54

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The total number of home loans rose by 2.4 per cent in Western Australia last November, against a 0.9 per cent fall nationally, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

WA home loans up 2.4%
The total number of home loans in WA was up last November, although loans for new homes were weaker.

The total number of home loans rose by 2.4 per cent in Western Australia last November, against a 0.9 per cent fall nationally, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In November, the number of home loan approvals for all owner-occupiers decreased by 0.9 per cent countrywide, ahead of market expectations of a 1.5 per cent reduction.

However, the latest ABS Housing Finance figures show that lending for new homes in WA suffered the third sharpest drop in the country, only behind Victoria and Queensland, which recorded falls of 12.2 per cent and 22.1 per cent, respectively.

Tasmania was the only state where lending for new homes was higher than the same period in 2017, with an increase of 6 per cent.

The value of total housing finance fell 2.5 per cent to sit at $29.1 billion for the month, according to seasonally adjusted data.  

The proportion of first-time buyers in the home loan market rose from 18.1 per cent in October to a six-year high of 18.3 per cent in November.

HIA’s principal economist Tim Reardon said the figures reinforce that the national housing market was continuing to ease back from the record activity of a few years ago, a trend that would continue over the coming months.

“The fall in lending in November is consistent with the decline over the course of 2018 and tells us that the volume of work builders have in their pipeline is continuing to fall," he said.

In 2017, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority imposed a range of restrictions on the market, such as limiting the size of interest only loans, but in December the regulator announced it would remove that restriction.

“It is now occurring at the behest of the banks, which have tightened lending above and beyond APRA’s requirements,” Mr Reardon said.

He said the effect of the crackdown in lending for new homes would linger for some time to come.

“HIA research has found the time taken to gain approval for a loan to build a new home has blown out from around two weeks to more than two months."

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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