Aussies still keen to buy a home

By Gerv Tacadena

Australians' desire to buy a home intensified in February, with the latest Commonwealth Bank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) series showing the highest level of home buying intentions since 2015.

The study showed that home loan applications and Google searches related to housing and mortgage increased on monthly and annual terms.

Stephen Halmarick, chief economist at CBA, said the strong showing in the home-buying segment will continue to be a key source of support for the Australian economy this year.

"Residential property prices in Australia are expected to be up 8% in 2021 and 6% in 2022, with house prices expected to be 9% higher this year," he said.

The CBA study also showed increased spending intentions for entertainment, travel, education, and health and fitness. Overall, Halmarick said these could provide much-needed support for the economy.

Halmarick expects the economy to grow by 4.4% this year. Only the upcoming expiry of the JobKeeper program is expected to negatively affect this growth.

“Our view is that the negative impacts of the end of JobKeeper will be short-lived and that the strength in the labour market, the large savings pool generated throughout 2020 and, as shown by the HSI, the solid momentum in spending and home buying, will see the economy transition successfully through the end of JobKeeper,” he said.

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