Is the property market bouncing back?

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Encouraging mortgage approval figures have come to light, suggesting that buying activity in the property market is slowly making its comeback.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) for the month of March reveal that there has been an (albeit modest) 0.34% rise in the national number of home loan approvals since February.

Encouragingly, when the March quarter results are compared to the same quarter last year, home loan approvals have risen 10% nationwide.

All of the mainland states recorded positive results, with Western Australia (25%), Queensland (16%), the Northern Territory (16%) and New South Wales (11%) all reaching double figures. Tasmania was the only state to record a negative result the approval figures from the last two year’s March quarters were compared (-8%).

ABS Housing Finance – March quarter 2012 compared to March quarter 2011:

  • WA: 25%
  • NT: 18%
  • NSW: 11%
  • VIC: 2%
  • SA:  4%
  • ACT: 3%
  • TAS: -8%

Source: ABS/Loan Market

“It’s highly encouraging to see the market on the mainland make a comeback after a prolonged downward trend,” said Loan Market corporate spokesperson Paul Smith. “We are obviously seeing more confidence from consumers so far this year, compared to last, which augers well for the months ahead.”

“With two consecutive months of flat activity, we should see the figures for May and June spike in reaction to the RBA’s rate cut,” he added. “Even though most lenders held back on passing on the full 50 basis points, they still lowered their variable rates by significant margins in a positive move for home loan customers.”

Smith also went as far as suggesting that further rate cuts may be forthcoming from the RBA on the back of this month’s bumper 0.5% drop, and this can only be beneficial to the housing market.

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