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  • National housing market continues to moderate

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    The number of owner-occupied finance commitments in Australia fell by 0.9 per cent in October 2016, according to the latest housing finance figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

    This is the tenth consecutive month of slight declines, and the twelfth consecutive month of decreases if refinancing is excluded, which declined 0.8 per cent in October.

    Newly elected President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, Malcolm Gunning, said decreases were recorded in all states except Tasmania.

    “In trend terms, the number of established dwellings purchase commitments fell by 1.0 percent while new dwelling construction decreased by 0.7 per cent and the purchase of new dwellings decreased by 0.3 per cent.

    “The value of investment housing commitments increased by 1.5 per cent in October but is down from its 2015 peak in response to the increase in mortgage rates for investors and the strengthening of banks’ non-price lending terms,” Mr Gunning said.

    The ABS figures for October also showed that while the proportion of first home buyers, as part of the total owner-occupied housing finance commitments, increased to 13.7 per cent from 13.1 per cent in September, the number of first home buyer commitments fell.

    “This increase in the proportion was due to a fall in the number of non-first home buyer commitments,” Mr Gunning said.

    “The monthly average for the proportion of first home buyers for the last twelve months is 13.5 per cent compared to 20.9 per cent for the corresponding period two decades ago – disappointingly this is a fall of nearly 40 per cent and appears to be a downward spiral.

    “The figures show that the market is adjusting and that there is no need for further intervention by the regulators.”

    View more market data and property information for the WA real estate market.