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First home buyers switch off

13 Feb 15

Adjusted figures do little to ease industry concerns that first home buyers are dropping out of the market.

REIA has previously lobbied the Australian Bureau of Statistics to review the method used to estimate first home buyer levels and we were pleased to see the release last week of its long-awaited discussion paper. However the adjusted figures released today do little to ease concerns within the industry that this vital group is dropping out of the market.

The figures shows first home buyer levels stand at 14.5 percent for December. While the revisions have increased the proportion of first home buyers by around two percentage points, the figure is the lowest since May 2004 and shows a steady decline since May 2012. 

The release of the latest housing finance figures for December 2014 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.5 per cent – the same as in the previous month. If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for December, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.1 percent – the second consecutive month of such an increase following 10 months of decreases. Increases were recorded in all states except Tasmania, the Northern Territory and Queensland with the highest increases in the ACT, which recorded a rise of 1.1 percent. The largest decrease was in Tasmania of 2.1 percent and Queensland was flat. In trend terms, the number of new dwellings purchase commitments decreased by 1.1 percent while new dwelling construction was flat and the purchase of established dwellings increased by 0.6 percent. The value of investment housing commitments again increased but by a more modest 1.1 percent. 

The December 2014 lending figures indicate a moderating market. With moderating housing lending and GDP growth below trend, inflation well within the RBA’s decision to cut interest rates at its February meeting was appropriate.

Article courtesy of Recon Daily

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