The volume of new home loans for owner occupiers fell significantly during the first month of 2016, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

A total of 55,786 loans (excluding refinancing) were approved for owner-occupied housing in January – down 3.9 per cent from the month prior.

Mortgage Choice chief executive officer John Flavell said while the drop in home loan demand was significant, it was not surprising.

“The property market always tends to cool off in January. Australians are too busy enjoying the festive season and going on holidays to worry about purchasing property or taking out a home loan,” he said.

“It is also important to note that while home loan demand did drop slightly in January, it didn’t fall off a cliff. More than 55,000 home loans were approved throughout the course of the month, which is incredibly strong by historical standards.

“It is hard to compare January’s results with December as home loan demand actually hit an eight-year high in December.”

Meanwhile, the total value of owner occupier loans also fell during the month – down 4.3 per cent to $20.54 million.

[Related: Mortgage demand hits eight-year high]

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