The latest housing finance figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show a continued increase in owner occupier lending and a decline in investor activity.
The Real Estate Institute of Australia said the figures for November 2016 show in trend terms that the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.8 percent. This increase is the same as for the previous two months. If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms for November, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.5 percent – the seventeenth consecutive month of increases.
Increases were recorded in all states except Western Australia and Queensland with the Northern Territory having the largest increase of 2.9 percent, said REIA President Neville Sanders. The largest decrease was recorded in Western Australia – down 0.4 percent.
"In trend terms, the number of new dwellings purchase commitments increased by 0.4 percent while new dwelling construction increased by 1.1 percent and the purchase of established dwellings increased by 0.8 percent," said Sanders. "The value of investment housing commitments decreased by 2.9 percent in trend terms. This is the sixth consecutive month of falling investor lending and the lowest monthly figure for the twelve months to November 2015 showing that the macro prudential measures and falling rental returns are having an impact on investor activity."
Sanders said the proportion of first home buyers, as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments, decreased to 14.9 percent compared to 15.0 percent in October and is the lowest since June 2004.
"The lending figures show that owner occupiers continue to have a greater presence in the stabilising market," concluded Sanders.
Tide is turning for owner-occupiers