Home loans rise again

Owner-occupied home loans were up by 1.1% in June – the seventh consecutive monthly increase – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Total housing finance by value rose by 9.2%, standing at $24.390bn after seasonal adjustment.

Economists put the upsurge down to an investor-led recovery. RBC Capital Markets senior economist Su-Lin Ong said: “[The data] is very much consistent with a stronger housing market all-round in terms of lending, construction and prices.

“We saw a pretty strong house price index today from the ABS as well, so [the data] is definitely supportive of this idea that the housing downturn that we’ve had in Australia since the peak in late 2003 is pretty shallow and mild.”

Ong said she doubted the 0.25% increase in interest rates would halt the latest housing upswing.

Commonwealth Bank economist Joseph Capurso agreed, adding that there was still strong demand on the investment side.

“Owner-occupiers are still rising as well [and] population growth is very strong – so there are very good fundamentals for a recovery in housing finance,” he said.

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