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Investors corner housing market

19 Mar 14

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) says the latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show, in trend terms, the first decline in the owner-occupied market for the last twelve months to January.

Housing finance figures for January 2014 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments decreased by 0.1 per cent, following an increase of 0.1 per cent in November and a flat December 2013.

If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for January, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.2 per cent.

REIA President, Peter Bushby says, “Increases were recorded in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, with Queensland having the biggest rise, up 0.6 per cent. The Australian Capital Territory’s fall of 1.6 per cent was the country’s largest and South Australia remained flat.”

“In trend terms, the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings climbed 1.8 per cent,” Mr Bushby continued. “However the purchase of new dwellings fell by 1.4 per cent and that of established dwellings fell by 0.3 per cent.”

The value of investment housing commitments continued to increase, with a rise of 1.6 per cent, in trend terms, in January resulting in nearly three years of consecutive monthly increases.

“The proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose from its historically lowest point of 12.3 per cent in November 2013 to 13.2 per cent in January 2014. Despite the increase, it is far lower than the long-run average proportion of 19.9 per cent, despite eight interest rate cuts since November 2011.”

“January 2014 results highlight the need for all Governments to act on housing affordability,” concluded Mr Bushby.