ABS housing finance figures released today for March 2015 show an easing in lending for new homes to both investors and owner occupiers , the Housing Industry Association said.
In the March 2015 quarter, there were 25,639 loans issued to owner occupiers purchasing or constructing a new home, representing a 4.9 per cent reduction from the level in the previous quarter and also a 4.9 per cent decline from the level in the March 2014 quarter.
HIA economist Diwa Hopkins said ABS figures also indicated that the value of lending to investors in new housing declined during the March quarter by 3.5 per cent, although this was still 16.4 per cent higher than a year previously.
[urbanRelatedPost][/urbanRelatedPost]"Today’s figures could be an early sign that new home lending peaked in late 2014,” Ms Hopkins said.
“That having been said, these March results come in the immediate wake of the February cut to the official cash rate, while the reduction in May will also take some time to take full effect in private lending activity.”
“Lower lending rates have been a vital element to new home building activity and the now-crucial role it is playing in supporting the broader domestic economy.”
The total number of owner occupier loans for new housing in the March 2015 quarter compared with the March 2014 quarter increased in Tasmania (+49.7 per cent) and New South Wales (+2.7 per cent). Elsewhere, there were declines: South Australia (-14.9 per cent); Western Australia (-10.5 per cent); Victoria (-3.2 per cent); and Queensland (-0.7 per cent).