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Healthy new home activity in August: HIA

13 October 2014

Figures from the Housing Industry Association (HIA) show new home lending activity in August is at very healthy levels.

HIA Chief Economist Harley Dale said the number of loans for new housing posted monthly growth of only 0.2 per cent in August 2014.

“Excluding the GFC-stimulus period of late 2009, the numbers we have seen over the June – August period this year are the highest since the building boom of 1994,” Mr Dale said.

“That is very positive news for new home construction heading into 2015, for many parts of the wider domestic economy and for the labour market.

“We need to be careful in the final months of 2014 that such positive news doesn’t get drowned out by negative noise regarding property price movements in a couple of markets and speculation and uncertainty about possible policy responses.

“It would be a perverse and unfortunate outcome for the Australian economy if healthy new home building activity came to a premature end,” he said.

In August 2014 the total number of seasonally adjusted loans to owner occupiers eased back by 0.9 per cent, marking the sixth consecutive month where total loans have changed by less than 1 per cent.

Loans for construction of new homes fell by 0.8 per cent in August while lending for the purchase of a new dwelling increased by 2.5 per cent, suggesting further short term out-performance for medium/high density construction relative to detached housing. The number of loans for existing property (net of refinancing) fell by 2.6 per cent in August to its lowest level in eighteen months.

In the month of August 2014 HIA’s seasonally adjusted estimate shows increases in the number of owner-occupier loans for new housing in South Australia (+3.0 per cent) and Tasmania (+21.7 per cent), while lending was flat in Victoria. Elsewhere, the number of new home loans declined by: 8.1 per cent in New South Wales; 1.6 per cent in Queensland; 7.0 per cent in Western Australia; 13.1 per cent in the Northern Territory; and 7.4 per cent in the Australian Capital Territory. However, over the three months to August 2014 lending increased in all eight jurisdictions.