April 16, 2013
Mortgage Choice CEO, Michael Russell comments on the results from the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics' Housing Finance report.
In February, following record low interest rates and improving positive consumer sentiment, the total value of housing finance commitments bounced back, rising by 1.4% on January 2013 and 8.7% on February 2012.
Owner-occupied housing finance commitments
“The latest national housing finance statistics from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments rose by 2.0% in February, while the value of such commitments increased by 1.2%,” said Mr Russell.
“The best performing state or territory in February by value of commitments was Canberra, which recorded a rise of 8.2%. At the other end of the scale, the Northern Territory sadly recorded a fall of 10.2%.
“The figures also show that while the value of purchases for new dwellings was down by 1.6%, the value of purchases for established dwellings rose by 1.7%. The value of construction and refinancing commitments also increased, both increased by 0.9%.
“Victoria led the states by value of construction, while New South Wales outperformed all other states with regards to the purchase of new and established dwellings, as well as refinancing commitments*.
“Nationally, both the value and number of first homebuyer commitments in February rose by 0.2% each, hopefully signalling the start of a welcome return of first homebuyers to an improving property market.
“All eyes are now focused on whether this is a sustainable trend. Based on the level of enquiry Mortgage Choice is presently experiencing, overall sentiment and improved national auction clearance rates, we remain quietly confident of another good showing for owner-occupied housing finance in March.”
Investment housing finance commitments
“The total value of housing investment commitments pleasingly rose by 1.8% in February. While the value of investment construction slowed considerably, falling by 12.1%, the value of investment in established property rose by 2.8%,” Mr Russell said.
Summary of ABS Housing Finance data:
Notes to the Editor:
Media statement based on seasonally adjusted series.
* Based on original data
For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mortgage Choice Corporate Affairs
(02) 8907 0472 / 0407 416 124
(02) 9018 8603 / 0412 550 004