Slower growth in owner-occupier market

The latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show, in trend terms, the slowest growth of the owner-occupied market for the last twelve months to December 2013.

Housing finance figures for December 2013 show, in trend terms, that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments rose by 0.3%, following increases of 0.5% in October and November. This is the lowest monthly increase, in trend terms, since December 2012.

If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for December, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.6%.

REIA President, Peter Bushby says, “Increases were recorded in New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, with New South Wales having the biggest rise, up 1.0%. The Northern Territory’s fall of 2.0% was the country’s largest.”

“In trend terms, the number of commitments for the construction of new dwellings climbed 1.1% and the purchase of established dwellings went up 0.3%,” Mr Bushby continued. “However the purchase of new dwellings fell by 1.1%.”

Investors continue their strong presence on the market with the value of investment housing commitments increasing 3.0%, in trend terms in December, resulting in almost 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% in November 2013 to 12.7% in December 2013. The figure is alarmingly lower than the long-run average proportion of 19.9%, despite eight interest rate cuts since November 2011.”

“December 2013 results highlight the need for Government to act on housing affordability and to

stem the rapid decline in the number of first home buyers,” concluded by Bushby.