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Home loan demand drops in March

Home loan demand dropped slightly over the month of March, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.


May 15, 2017

Home loan demand dropped slightly over the month of March, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The latest Housing Finance data found 54,468 home loans were approved throughout the month of March, down from 54,736 the previous month.

“This is the second consecutive month that we have seen a drop in the number of home loan approvals,” Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said.

“Of course, over the last few months, a number of lenders have made significant changes to their policy and pricing, which would have had an impact on demand.

“And while home loan demand has slipped slightly in recent months, it remains strong by historical standards.

Interestingly, while total home loan demand slid 0.5% over the month of March, the value of all dwelling commitments actually rose by 0.9% to more than $33.1 billion.

“The value of owner-occupied housing loans rose 0.9% to more than $20 billion, while the value of all investment loans written also rose 0.8% to almost $13 billion.”

Mr Flavell said he wasn't surprised to see a lift in the value of all home loan approvals.

“Data from CoreLogic found property values across the combined capital cities rose 1.4% over the month of March, taking the median dwelling price to $585,000.

“Unsurprisingly, this growth in dwelling values was largely supported by rising property prices in both Sydney and Melbourne, with the capital cities recording dwelling price growth of 1.4% and 1.9% respectively throughout the month of March.”

Looking ahead, Mr Flavell said home loan demand would likely remain strong despite the various changes being implemented by Australia's lenders.

“The fact is: interest rates continue to hover around record lows. And, whilst ever this is the case, there will continue to be a fair degree of heat in the property market, which will help bolster demand and property values,” he said.


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