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5609.0 - Housing Finance, Australia, Mar 2008  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 12/05/2008   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


DWELLINGS FINANCED

Value of Dwellings Financed

The total value of dwelling commitments excluding alterations and additions (seasonally adjusted) decreased 5.3% in March 2008 compared with February 2008. The trend series for total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions decreased by 1.5 % in March 2008.

The total value of owner occupied housing commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell by 4.4% (down $662m) in March 2008, following a revised decrease of 6.3% in February 2008. The decrease this month was due to falls in purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down $432m, 4.9%), purchase of new dwellings (down $78m, 13.3%), refinancing of established dwellings (down $77m, 1.8%) and construction of dwellings (down $75m, 6.3%). The trend series in the value of owner occupied commitments decreased by 1.2% in March 2008.

The total value of investment housing commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 7.2% (down $466m) in March 2008 compared with February 2008, following a revised decrease of 10.1% in February 2008. The decrease this month was due to decreases in purchase of dwellings by individuals for rent or resale (down $234m, 4.6%), purchase of dwellings by others for rent or resale (down $145m, 17.2%) and construction of dwellings for rent or resale (down $87m, 15.6%). The trend series in total value of investment housing commitments decreased by 2.2% in March 2008.

INVESTMENT HOUSING - TOTAL
Graph: INVESTMENT HOUSING - TOTAL



Number of Owner Occupied Dwellings Financed

The number of owner occupied housing commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 6.1% (down 3,834) in March 2008 compared with February 2008, following a revised decrease of 6.8% in February 2008. Decreases were recorded in purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down 2,138, 6.0%), refinancing of established dwellings (down 1,219, 6.0%), purchase of new dwellings (down 257, 11.5%) and construction of dwellings (down 220, 4.6%). The number of owner occupied housing commitments (trend) decreased 1.3% in March 2008.

The number of owner occupied housing commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased in March 2008 compared with February 2008 in Queensland (down 1,336, 9.8%), New South Wales (down 1,156, 6.1%), Victoria (down 894, 5.7%), South Australia (down 514, 9.9%), Tasmania (down 93, 6.5%) and the Northern Territory (down 40, 9.2%), while increases were recorded in Western Australia (up 34, 0.4%) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 25, 3.1%). The trend estimates decreased in all states except Tasmania (no change) and the Northern Territory, while the Australian Capital Territory recorded a slight increase.

In original terms, the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments decreased from 17.2% in February 2008 to 16.4% in March 2008. The number of fixed rate loan commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments rose from 23.6% in February 2008 to 23.9% in March 2008. The average loan size for owner occupied housing commitments rose from $230,100 in February 2008 to $233,500 in March 2008.

Graph: Number of Owner Occupied Dwellings Financed


Number of Owner Occupied Dwellings Financed Excluding Refinancing

The number of owner occupied housing commitments excluding refinancing (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 6.1% in March 2008 compared with February 2008, following a revised decrease of 6.7% in February 2008. The trend fell 2.1% in March 2008, the ninth consecutive monthly decrease.

Graph: Number of owner occupied dwellings financed excluding refinancing


PURPOSE OF FINANCE (OWNER OCCUPATION)

Construction of dwellings

The number of finance commitments for the construction of dwellings for owner occupation (seasonally adjusted) fell 4.6% in March 2008 compared with February 2008, following a revised increase of 0.6% in February 2008. The trend series fell by 0.5%.

Graph: Construction of dwellings


Purchase of new dwellings

The number of finance commitments for the purchase of new dwellings for owner occupation (seasonally adjusted) fell by 11.5% in March 2008, following a revised decrease of 0.5% in February 2008. The trend series fell by 4.2% in March 2008, the ninth consecutive monthly decrease.

Graph: Purchase of new dwellings


Purchase of established dwellings (including refinancing)

The number of finance commitments for the purchase of established dwellings for owner occupation (seasonally adjusted) fell by 6.0% in March 2008, following a revised decrease of 7.6% in February 2008. The trend series decreased by 1.3% in March 2008.

Graph: Purchase of established dwellings including refinancing


Refinancing

The number of refinancing commitments for owner occupied housing (seasonally adjusted) fell 6.0% in March 2008 compared with February 2008, following a revised decrease of 6.9% in February 2008. The trend series rose 0.3% in March 2008, the seventh consecutive monthly increase.

Graph: Refinancing


TYPE OF LENDER (OWNER OCCUPATION)

Banks

The number of owner occupied dwellings financed by banks (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 4.7% in March 2008 compared with February 2008, after a revised decrease of 6.8% in February 2008. The trend series fell 0.9% in March 2008.

Graph: Banks


Non-banks

The number of owner occupied dwellings financed by non-banks (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 13.0% in March 2008 compared with February 2008, after a revised decrease of 6.9% in February 2008. The trend series in the number of owner occupied dwellings financed by non-banks decreased by 3.4% in March 2008, the tenth consecutive monthly decrease. The number of commitments for owner occupied dwellings financed by wholesale lenders n.e.c. (seasonally adjusted) decreased 16.0% and the trend series has continued to decline (down 5.0%).

Graph: Non-banks


HOUSING LOAN OUTSTANDINGS

At the end of March 2008, the value of outstanding housing loans financed by authorised deposit-taking institutions was $718,696m, up $9,357m (1.3%) from the February 2008 closing balance. Owner occupied housing loans increased by $7,282m (1.5%) to $488,436m and investment housing loans increased by $2,075m (0.9%) to $230,260m.

Bank loans increased by $9,425m (1.4%) during March 2008 to reach a closing balance of $677,374m. Owner occupied housing loans of banks increased by $7,368m (1.6%) to $455,352 and investment housing loans increased by $2,057m (0.9%) to $222,022m.


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