February 14, 2011
Australia's largest independently-owned mortgage broker, Mortgage Choice, is delighted to see yet another encouraging result from the ABS Housing Finance report 5609.0.
December 2010 was the fourth successive month to show an increase in the overall value of dwelling commitments*, up by 2.5%, despite November's much talked about rate rises that led the Federal Government to set up an inquiry into banking reform.
The number and value of commitments rose over the first month of summer for all major categories except for the purchase of new dwellings. In terms of total value, there was a 2.3% rise for owner occupied housing loans and a 3.0% rise for investment housing - fixed loans.
Of special interest was the first homebuyer category data. It showed the highest number of dwelling commitments (8,586) since March 2010. First homebuyers accounted for 15.8% of owner occupied housing finance commitments for December 2010, up from 15.6% in November and 15.4% in October.
Mortgage Choice spokesperson Kristy Sheppard said, "Four months of consistent increases in the total value of new home loans in Australia is a welcome improvement for the market. Hopefully it demonstrates a noticeable uplift in positive sentiment from potential borrowers."
"We are especially pleased to see a good result from the first homebuyer category, with the highest number of dwelling commitments in nine months. At 8,586 for December it is still 900 commitments below average but we are gradually getting there, which is terrific to see.
"Although things were a little slower in January 2011, at the moment we are cautiously confident that this year will be an overall improvement on 2010 in many respects.
"With housing price growth remaining subdued, cash rate rises now looking to be pushed back a little and wages increasing at a healthy pace, the current 'buyers' market' holds much potential."
*All figures quoted are seasonally adjusted.
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mortgage Choice Corporate Affairs
(02) 8907 0472 or 0407 416 124