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New housing finance figures released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reveal first home buyers are returning to the market, according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).
REIA President Malcolm Gunning said the proportion of first home buyers in the market (as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments) had increased to 15 per cent in June, which was the highest it had been since February 2014.
“The number of first home buyer commitments increased by 1.6 per cent for the month, following a 28.9 per cent increase the previous month and is the highest since October 2014,” Mr Gunning said.
Investor housing commitments
The ABS data also revealed investor housing commitments had trended down in June.
“The value of investment housing commitments decreased by 0.9 per cent in June in trend terms following falls in the previous two months, and is well down from its 2015 peak,” Mr Gunning said.
“Overall the figures for June 2017 show the number of owner-occupied finance commitments decreased by 0.2 per cent. If refinancing is excluded, in trend terms, the number of owner-occupied finance commitments increased by 0.3 per cent and is the tenth consecutive month of increases.”
Established dwelling purchase commitments
The number of established dwellings purchase commitments decreased by 0.5 per cent in June, while new dwelling construction increased by 1.9 per cent and the purchase of new dwellings increased by 1.3 per cent.
“The June figures show that the market is adjusting with owner occupiers and first home buyers returning to the market as investor activity decreases in response to the actions of the regulators and banks to limit bank lending to dampen investor demand for property,” Mr Gunning concluded.