Home loan decline ‘no cause for alarm’, says HIA

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The number of loans for owner-occupiers may have fallen across the board in July, but the Housing Industry Association (HIA) said that this should not be a cause for concern.

According to HIA chief economist Harley Dale, there are certain bright spots, despite the below expectations result for housing finance.

“The lending profile over the three months to July signals no cause for alarm,” said Dale.

“Lending for the purchase of new dwellings increased over the quarter (+2.2%), while the number of loans to owner-occupiers for new dwelling construction eased very moderately (-1%). The number of loans for established dwellings fell by 2% over the July quarter.”

Dale added that the latest figures only reinforce the fact that the overall housing market has peaked.

Investment lending is also on the decline – down 19% from its peak. However, lending for new property is up 22%.

“It is rather ironic that without the policy uncertainty generated by proposed changes to superannuation and persistent headlines regarding negative gearing amendments, lending for existing investment properties would be lower and the counterpart new home building component would be even healthier,” said Dale.

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