INVESTMENT AND FINANCE
PRIVATE NEW CAPITAL EXPENDITURE
In seasonally adjusted chain volume terms, business investment in Western Australia rose 8.9% ($389 million) in the March quarter 2007, slightly down on the rise of 10.4% ($413 million) in the previous quarter. These consecutive periods of strong growth have lifted business investment to its 2nd highest quarterly level on record at $4,780 million, just $60 million less than the historically high of $4,840 million in the June quarter 2006. In the latest quarter, almost two-thirds of the growth in business investment was in buildings and structures (up $238 million or 8.4%) and the rest was in equipment, plant and machinery (up $150 million or 9.6%).
Trend data for the March quarter 2007 was not available for publication due to a break in series caused by the recent privatisation of Telstra Corporation on 20 November 2006. For the purposes of ABS statistics this change from public to private sector is effective from the March quarter 2007. For more information please see Information Paper: Future Treatment of Telstra in ABS statistics, 2007 (cat. no. 8102.0), released 26 February 2007.
PRIVATE NEW CAPITAL EXPENDITURE, Chain volume measures
In original current prices terms, Western Australia's business investment rose 17.9% ($709 million) to $4,670 million through the year to March quarter 2007. This rise was mainly driven by increased investment in the mining industry, up 23.8% ($622 million) to $3,237 million, as well as an 18.4% rise in investment in other selected industries (including retail trade, property and business services and construction) (up $166 million to $1,066 million). Manufacturing industry investment, however, fell 17.5% ($78 million) to $368 million through the year.
HOUSING FINANCE COMMITMENTS
The number of dwellings financed for owner occupation (trend) in Western Australia recovered from 7 consecutive months of decline between May 2006 (9,602 commitments) and December 2006 (8,423 commitments), to rise in each of the last 4 months to 8,703 commitments in April 2007. In the three months to April 2007, the number of dwellings financed for owner occupation rose 1.7% (422 commitments) in Western Australia (compared to the previous three month period), following a 5.5% (1,486 commitments) decline in the three months to January 2007.
HOUSING FINANCE COMMITMENTS, Number of dwellings financed
In original terms, the total value of housing finance for owner occupation in Western Australia increased 3.0% ($163 million) in the three months to April 2007, compared to the previous three month period. Growth was entirely driven by the value of housing finance for non-first home buyers, rising 4.1% ($195 million), partially offset by a 4.8% ($32 million) fall in the value of housing finance for first home buyers. The difference between the average loan size for first home buyers and non-first home buyers has widened considerably in Western Australia in recent months. In January 2007, the average loan size for non-first home buyers ($220,800) was $3,900 higher than for first home buyers ($216,900), but by April 2007 this gap had widened to $22,400 - $218,500 (non-first home buyers) compared to $196,100 (first home buyers). In the three months to April 2007, the total value of housing finance for investment (original) rose 5.2% ($122 million) in Western Australia, compared to the previous three month period.