Despite the positive headline result, the latest housing finance data for August 2015 show investor lending starting to suffer effects of ‘macroprudential’ measures.

“Total commitments for owner occupied dwellings, seasonally adjusted, rose by 2.9 per cent in August,” Peter Jones, Chief Economist of Master Builders said.

“Encouragingly, owner occupier loans for construction and newly constructed dwellings rose by 2.5 per cent in the month, to be only slightly down on the same time a year ago in a positive sign for longevity despite the mature stage of cycle,” he said.

“The value of loans for investment fell by 0.4 per cent in August.  However, more concerning was the big drop-off in investment loans for construction - down 22 per cent on the month and by 2.5 per cent on August 2014,” he said.

“The authorities must avoid ‘heavy-handed’ regulations that could cut short the residential building cycle and thereby end the flow of new housing supply that is, in turn, essential if Australia is to solve its housing affordability problem,” Peter Jones said.