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Housing finance is not falling off a cliff: it is up 5.4 per cent over year

Christopher Joye
6 September 2011

Contrary to some claims on the loony online fringe, Australian housing finance is not dropping off a cliff as folks run for the hills. Indeed, non-resource states like NSW are demonstrating surprising strength. The charts below show housing finance growing at a steady pace: up 5.4 per cent over the last 12 months, up one per cent this month, after a 0.6 per cent increase last month (revised from zero per cent). ANZ comments:

"The number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose by one per cent in July (0.3 per cent excluding refinancing) slightly weaker than the market consensus of a 1.5 per cent rise. However, last month’s data were revised up to 0.6 per cent from a previously estimated zero per cent.

“Meanwhile, the value of total housing finance commitment rose by 1.6 per cent (0.7 per cent excluding refinancing). At the national level, it appears that housing finance has reached its nadir and should show some modest improvement moving forward...The number of owner-occupier housing finance commitments was mixed across the states. Queensland (three per cent) recorded the biggest increase in housing finance and is now 11 per cent higher than its low point reached in March following the natural disasters, although it remains 4.9 per cent lower over the past year.

“New South Wales recorded robust growth, with housing finance increasing by two per cent month-on-month in July to be 8.2 per cent higher over the past year (second only to Western Australia). The biggest fall was recorded in South Australia (-3.5 per cent month-on-month), within finance approvals now 0.6 per cent lower over the past year making South Australia the weakest performing state with the exception of Queensland. Housing finance declined by 2.1 per cent month-on-month in Western Australia, reversing some of their recent gains. However, it remains 16.3 per cent higher over the year to July.”

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