However, a sharp drop in the value of loans for investment properties cast a shadow to the solid housing finance numbers. Investment lending tumbled 7.2% in July as investors wait for signs of recovery in the sector. "The moderate increase in the home lending market for owner occupiers was mainly driven by the established home markets. It's perhaps too early to say but it does look as though there's a little bit of momentum coming out of a recovery in housing finance space. However, loans for constructing new homes are still growing at a much slower rate than the loans in the established markets," says Harley Dale, chief economist with Housing Industry Association. First homebuyer market also continued to weaken. The number of loans taken by first homebuyers fell three times in the last four months and the number of dwellings financed by new homebuyers fell from 16.7% in June to 16.1% in July. Dale blames the higher interest rates, constraints on land supply, and unwarranted fees, taxes, and charges imposed on new housing for the falling number of new home buyers in the market.

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