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Volatility ahead as April housing finance wipes growth


The latest Housing Finance data for April 2017 released by the ABS continues to show volatility, recording a fall in the value of dwelling commitments of 1.6 per cent.

Nevertheless, finance commitments for the construction of new dwellings was a standout, rising by 2.1 per cent in the month despite a fall in the number of purchases of new, established and owner occupied housing.

“These latest results largely offset the growth in housing commitments recorded earlier in the year. But do also highlight the growing volatility in the statistics as the housing sector passes the current peak,” Matthew Pollock, Master Builders Australia’s National Manager Housing said.

First home buyer commitments rose as a share of total owner occupied loans from 13.6 to 13.9 per cent in April. But this was as much to do with weakness in the non-first home buyer statistics as it was to do with any spike in interest from first home buyers. The number of first home buyer commitments fell by 1,392 compared to March 2017, a fall of 17.5 per cent.

“This reinforces the need for more to be done to reduce the regulatory and compliance costs that house prices to improve the ability of first home buyers, and new homebuyers in general, to achieve home ownership,” Matthew Pollock said.

“Owning your own home is part of the Australian way and Master Builders is committed to keeping it that way,” Matthew Pollock said.

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