9 February 

The latest housing finance data, released by the Australia Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier today shows the number of home loan approvals fell by 1.6 per cent in December.

“Over the 2017 calendar year total dwellings financed jumped by 6.8 per cent, equivalent to an extra 4,640 homes compared to 2016,” Matthew Pollock, National Manager Housing said.

“Importantly, first home buyer shares of new mortgages increased to 18 per cent, a marked jump up from where we were a year ago,” he said.

“In December 2016 first home buyer mortgages account for 13.8 per cent of new mortgage loans. This is further evidence that moves by the regulators to tighten investor lending, and legislative changes which have increased transaction costs for foreign buyers have changed the balance in the market. However, there is a risk that if the market softens that these recent changes could exacerbate the slowdown,” Matthew Pollock says.

By state, in seasonally adjusted terms, housing finance commitments:

  • Rose in Western Australia (up 51, 1.0%) and the Northern Territory (up 1, 0.5%).
  • While falls were recorded in New South Wales (down 438, 2.5%), Victoria (down 423, 2.6%), the Australian Capital Territory (down 90, 7.1%), Queensland (down 74, 0.7%), South Australia (down 41, 1.1%) and Tasmania (down 23, 2.3%).

Ends....