Value of loans for new housing loans increases

By Nila Sweeney

Even as activity by first homebuyers has slowed, the value of new housing loans has increased nationally.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show the overall value of housing finance commitments for all dwellings rose for the fifth month in a row, by 3.6%. That comes on the heels of a 6.7% rise in March and a 1.3% rise in February.

"It is fantastic to see housing finance demand in Australia continue to improve, with the value of total dwelling commitments increasing for the fifth month in a row," said Mortgage Choice CEO Michael Russell.

And while the total number of first homebuyers applying for finance decreased from 17,652 in March to16,651 in April, activity amongst investors and owner occupiers increased, according to the ABS.

Real Estate Institute of Australia President David Airey said the ABS figures highlight
a property market that has stabilised and showing signs of growth as investors make a return to the market.

"This is a really positive sign for the property market and shows that investors are starting to re-gain their confidence while the main driving factor for first home buyers are low interest rates and the availability of the First Home Owner's Grant Boost (FHOG Boost)," he said.

Overall, the number of first homebuyers in April was still double that of a year earlier, when it was just 8,818.