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New home lending 'signals strength' in residential construction

16 April, 2014

Housing finance data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics point to further strength in residential construction, said the Housing Industry Association, the voice of Australia's residential building industry.

"The owner occupier segment of new home lending is showing encouraging signs," said Hopkins. "Following a strong result in January, the number of owner occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings increased again in February by 0.8 per cent.  Over the three months to February the rise was 7.2 per cent."

"This strong growth in housing finance is consistent with other leading indicators of the residential construction sector, including dwelling approvals and new home sales," added Hopkins.

In February 2014, while the number of owner occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings increased, loans for the purchase of new dwellings declined by 5.0 per cent. As a result the total number of new home loans to owner occupiers eased by 1.0 per cent during the month. Over the three months to February 2014 new home lending to owner occupiers still increased by 2.7 per cent to a level that is 15.4 per cent higher than 12 months previously.

"Another strong result was the value of lending to investors for the purpose of constructing new dwellings for rent or resale. In the three months to February 2014, the value of this form of finance increased by 13.2 per cent," commented HIA Economist, Diwa Hopkins.

"Today's housing finance results auger well for much needed further growth in new home building. A sustained increase in new home building activity which provides Australia with an appropriate supply of housing is a necessary condition for addressing the persistent problems around housing affordability," said Hopkins.

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