New home lending to owner occupiers in Australia saw solid growth during April, up 4% month on month but still 5.9% lower than a year ago.
The figures, published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, also show that loans for building new homes increased by 4.4% and for buying new homes there was a 3.3% rise.
The official figures confirm that demand for new home purchase across Australia remains very strong, according to Housing Industry Association, the voice of the residential building industry.
‘Even though the amount of new home lending for owner occupiers peaked over a year ago, current loan volumes remain elevated by historic standards. This means that activity on the ground over the remainder of 2016 will be healthy,’ said HIA senior economist Shane Garrett.
He pointed out that May’s interest rate reduction is likely to provide some impetus to new home lending over the coming months. The HIA believes that 2016 will be another remarkably strong year overall.
‘Further easing on the interest rate front would augur even better for the short term outlook in residential building,’ added Garrett.
Compared with a year earlier, the number of loans to owner occupiers constructing or purchasing new homes increased in four of the eight states during April 2016.
A breakdown of the figures show that in the Australian Capital Territory there was a 30% rise, in South Australia and increased of 9.7%, in Victoria a rise of 4.5% and in New South Wales a rise of 1.1%.
But there were declines over the same period in Western Australia with a fall of 18.9%, a fall of 15.2% in Tasmania, a fall of 2.2% in Queensland and a fall of 1.8% in the Northern Territory.