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Australia Home Loan Approvals Decline Unexpectedly In November

Jan 14 2013

The number of loans approved for owner occupied housing in Australia decreased unexpectedly in November as credit demand for purchase of new dwellings declined sharply despite a rate cut by the central bank in October.

Housing finance commitments for owner occupied housing fell 0.5 percent month-on-month in November against expectations for a 0.5 percent rise. This was the first decline in loan demand in four months and closely followed a 0.1 percent rise in October.

Lending for purchase of new dwellings plunged 10.3 percent in November from a month earlier when loan approvals rose 3.7 percent. The number of loan commitments for construction of dwellings fell 1.8 percent, marking the fifth decline in a row.

First-home buyer activity was weaker than a month earlier. The number of loans extended to first home buyers fell to 7,921 in November from 9,215 in October. This group accounted for 15.8 percent of total loans approved during the month, down from 18.7 percent in the previous month.

The proportion of loans issued to this interest rate sensitive group is tracking at the lowest level since 2004, said Tom Kennedy, an economist at J.P. Morgan Australia. The decision by the RBA to keep rates on hold in November may have been enough to discourage them from seeking new finance over the month, the economist observed.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, however, slashed the interest by a quarter-point to 3 percent in December, the lowest level since the 2009 global recession. Nonetheless, the latest survey by Westpac and the Melbourne Institute suggests that this latest move also failed to boost consumer confidence.

Last month, RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said though there is some pick-up in housing prices, the central bank does not see a dangerous leveraging up by households at the moment. "Household credit growth is actually still pretty moderate and many people are still seeking to get their leverage down," he said on December 19.

The material has been provided by Instaforex Company -
TAGS: Australia  Home  Loan  Approvals  Decline  Unexpectedly  In  November   

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