16/01/2008 - 10:28

WA home loans up 4% in November

16/01/2008 - 10:28

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The volume of owner occupier home loans in Western Australia jumped by 4 per cent in November, despite coinciding with the Reserve Bank of Australia's most recent interest rate hike.

The volume of owner occupier home loans in Western Australia jumped by 4 per cent in November, despite coinciding with the Reserve Bank of Australia's most recent interest rate hike.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal all states and territories experienced an increase in demand for home loans expect the ACT, which fell 0.4 per cent in November.

Tasmania experienced the biggest surge with a 9.9 per cent increase, followed by Victoria (4.7 per cent), Western Australia (4.0 per cent) and Australia's largest housing market-NSW (3.9 per cent).

Elsewhere, home loans increased 3.5 per cent in Queensland, by 2.8 per cent in South Australia and 2.0 per cent in the Northern Territory.

Nationally, the total number of loans for owner occupiers increased by 4 per cent in November due to a 4.9 per cent lift in loans for established dwellings.

Loans for the purchase of new dwellings dropped by 7.3 per cent and loans for the construction of new dwellings were flat.

The Housing Industry Assocation said the increases in loans for established dwellings had masked a weakening in loans for new dwellings.

HIA executive director WA Sheryl Chaffer said that the profile for housing finance was consistent with other leading indicators which pointed to a continued softening in the commencement of new home building activity in 2008.

"The WA economy is very strong and the level of new housing activity in the pipeline is at best steady. This situation is likely to continue regardless of the outcomes of the economic storm clouds internationally." Ms Chaffer said.

"Within this aggregate picture, the industry is concerned that with continued strong population growth and only marginal increases in new dwellings means there will be continued upwards pressure on prices and even further tightening of the rental market. This demonstrates the need for government to implement incentives for the construction of rental properties."

Economists say the recent action by the banks to lift mortgage rates and the risk of another official rate rise by the central bank next month is likely to dampen demand for loans in coming months.

The Westpac-Melbourne consumer confidence index released earlier today tumbled 8.3 per cent in January, reflecting the impact of rising interest rates, higher petrol prices and weakening share prices.


 

 

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