For the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA), the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reflects a continued decline in home financing.

Citing ABS figures, REIA president Malcolm Gunning said the number of owner-occupier finance commitments diminished by 0.3% in December 2017, the third consecutive month of decline, even after accounting for refinancing.

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“In trend terms decreases were recorded in all states and territories except Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) and South Australia. The largest decrease of 1.5% was in Western Australia. The ACT had the largest increase of 0.6% and South Australia was flat," Gunning said.

A downward trend was also apparent in the value of investment housing commitments, which saw its eleventh month of decline at 0.5%.

Additionally, the number of established dwellings purchase commitments went down by 03% as new home construction dropped 0.8%. These came with a 0.1% decline in new home purchases.

First home buyers were apparently not as active in December 2017 as their proportion of total owner-occupied housing finance commitments went down marginally from November to 17.9.

"Whilst the figures show that home lending is slowing down first home buyers are continuing to have an increased presence in the market,” Gunning said.

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