HIA: Home lending lifts further in January
Housing Industry Association (HIA) has announced that housing loans increased for the fourth consecutive month in January 2009, driven by the on-going surge in first home buyer loans.
HIA Senior Economist, Ben Phillips, said that for the month of January total loans increased by 3.5% on December last year, but that still left the number of loans down by 16% compared to January 2008.
Loans for construction rose by 2.5% but loans for the purchase of new dwellings eased by 1.4% following four consecutive rises. Lending for established dwellings, net of refinancing, was up by 5.6%, the fifth straight rise.
"Lending for both construction and for established dwellings is still well down on where it was at the start of 2008, but amidst so many negative updates on the Australian economy of late it is encouraging to see owner occupier home lending trending higher," Mr Phillips said.
"First home buyers are still the key driver of the momentum in home lending and disguise the fact that we have a long way to go to see the trade-up buyer market back at healthy levels. Over the three months to January 2009 the number of first home buyer loans was up by over 11% on the same period a year earlier, but non-first home buyer loans were down by 27%," he said.
According to Mr Phillips, residential investment is weakening, both for new construction and existing property. Over the three months to January 2009 the value of lending for construction of new rental dwellings dropped by 46% compared to the same period through to January 2008.
12 March, 2009