February Key Figures
Housing finance, Number of dwellings
Number of dwellings, Trend estimates—% change
February Key Points
- The trend estimate for the number of housing finance commitments for owner occupation declined by 3.3% in February 2004. The trend series excluding refinancing fell by 3.6% in February. The trend series for the value of commitments decreased by 3.1%.
- The construction finance trend series recorded a decrease of 1.6% in February 2004, the sixth consecutive monthly decrease. There were also decreases in the trend series for purchase of new dwellings (down 2.0%), refinancing (down 2.6%) and the purchase of established dwellings which fell for the fifth consecutive month (down 3.5%).
Seasonally Adjusted Estimates
- The number of housing finance commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 4.3% in February 2004, driven primarily by the decrease in refinancing of established dwellings (down 12.2%). There were also decreases in construction of dwellings (down 3.6%) and purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down 0.4%), while there was an increase in purchase of new dwellings (up 10.2%).
- The value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell by 1.1% in February 2004. The slower rate of decrease in the value of commitments compared with number of dwellings reflected growth in the average loan size.
- Loans to first home buyers was 12.7% of all loans, a record low.
- The average loan value was $190,600 in February 2004, up from the January figure of $186,400.
CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE
There are no changes in this issue.
CHANGES IN FORTHCOMING ISSUES
From the March 2004 issue this publication will be renamed Housing Finance, Australia and will include two additional tables:
The front page and summary of finding sections will also change to reflect the additional information. A mock-up of the revised publication will be available on the ABS website from 5 May 2004. From the Home page select Themes, then Finance and scroll down to the What's New heading.
- a new table on the Value of Finance Commitments for Housing. This new table will be the same in content and format as table 8 (Finance Commitments for Housing) published in Lending Finance, Australia (ABS cat. no. 5671.0). This will ensure that information on lending commitments for owner occupation housing and investment housing are released on the same date;
- a new table of home loan outstandings classified by lender. This new table will contain monthly data from March 2002 for Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) classified by type of lender and split by owner-occupation housing and investment housing. For other lending institutions, total housing loan outstandings will be provided on a quarterly basis to provide a complete picture of all financial institutions providing finance for the purpose of housing.
The numbering of all tables currently in this publication will remain unchanged. However, some changes to unpublished AusStats table numbers will be necessary, although all data currently available will continue to be available in the same format. Queries regarding the changes may be directed to Darren Page on 02 6252 6731 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For further information about these and related statistics, contact the National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070 or Darren Page on Canberra 02 6252 6731.
Housing Finance Summary of Findings
Number financed including refinancing
The seasonally adjusted housing finance series continued its recent decline, decreasing by 4.3% in February, the fifth successive monthly decrease. The decrease was mainly due to the refinancing of established dwellings (down 2147, -12.2%), while there were also decreases in construction of dwellings (down 192, -3.6%) and purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down 107, -0.4%). An increase in purchase of new dwellings (up 171, 10.2%) partly offset these decreases.
The total housing finance trend fell by 3.3% in February 2004. The significant fall in the seasonally adjusted series this month has resulted in a stronger trend decline, with downward revisions to the trend series back to October 2003.
In original terms, the percentage of first home buyers declined to a record low of 12.7% in February 2004, continuing the general decline since the record high of 25.8% in July 2001.
There were decreases (seasonally adjusted) in NSW (down 960, -5.6%), Victoria (down 745, -6.2%), SA (down 88, -1.9%), ACT (down 81, -12.0%), Tasmania (down 67, -6.2%), WA (down 65, -1.0%), and Queensland (down 25, -0.2%). The only increase was for NT (up 30, 7.3%). The trend series decreased in February 2004 for all states and territories.
Value of commitments
The total value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell for the fifth consecutive month, falling by 1.1% in February 2004. The smaller decrease in the value of commitments compared to the decline in number of commitments reflects growth in the average loan size in February. The trend series decreased by 3.1% in February..
Number financed excluding refinancing
The number of dwellings financed excluding refinancing (seasonally adjusted) decreased slightly in February 2004 (down 128, -0.4%), following larger decreases in the previous four months. The trend series decreased by 3.6% in February.
Purchase of new dwellings
The number of commitments for the purchase of new dwellings (seasonally adjusted) increased by 10.2% in February 2004, after a decrease of 18.3% in January. The trend series fell 2.0% in February 2004.
Purchase of established dwellings
The seasonally adjusted established dwelling series decreased by 4.9% (down 2254) in February 2004, the fifth successive month of decreasing commitments. The decrease was primarily driven by a large decrease (down 2147, or 12.2%) in refinancing commitments. The trend series decreased by 3.5% in February.
Purpose of Finance
Construction of dwellings
Construction commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell by 3.6% in February 2004, after an increase of 1.4% in January. The trend fell 1.6% in February 2004.
The number of refinancing commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell by 12.2% in February 2004, the second successive month of decreasing commitments and the strongest percentage decline in this series since May 1997. The trend series decreased by 2.6% in February.
Type of Lender
Bank finance (seasonally adjusted) decreased for the fifth consecutive month, falling by 3.1% (down 1227) in February 2004 after a decrease of 6.4% in January. The trend series fell 3.3% in February.
Non-bank commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased for the fifth consecutive month in February 2004, decreasing by 7.7%. There were seasonally adjusted decreases for wholesale lenders (down 6.5%) and permanent building societies (down 6.9%). The non-bank trend series decreased by 3.0%.