Broader Recovery Needed in Housing Finance, Says HIA

Article excerpt

ABS Housing Finance figures posted a modest improvement in August 2012, but it was narrowly based said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia's residential building industry.

aThe 2.6 per cent increase in total housing finance net of refinancing in August 2012 marked the sixth consecutive rise,a said HIA's chief economist, Dr Harley Dale.

aThat is encouraging, but the base for the recovery has to date been too narrow.

aA recovery in the number of loans to first time owner occupiers appears to be entrenching itself, but lending to the larger a[approximately]trade-up' owner occupier market has been losing momentum since March.a

aOn the new home front, lending for the purchase of new dwellings increased strongly in August (up 13.9%), which is an encouraging result, although a flat month in terms of loans for construction was disappointing.

aAfter posting a strong increase in June, the number of loans for the construction of owner occupied dwellings largely flat-lined in July and again in August. …