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Australians keep buying and building houses

by Staff Reporter4 minute read

Home loan volumes are continuing to experience strong growth, although the investment market might be slowing.

More than $16.5 billion of loans for owner-occupier housing were written in January, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

That was a 20.1 per cent increase on the year before and a 1.5 per cent increase on December.

The total number of loans for owner-occupier housing grew 15 per cent year-on-year, although there was no change from the December figure.

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The number of owner-occupier loans for the construction of new dwellings rose 23.5 per cent year-on-year and 5.8 per cent month-on-month.

The value of loans for investment housing hit $10.4 billion in January. That marked a 34.2 per cent jump on the year before, but a 3.3 per cent decline on the previous month.

Housing Industry Association economist Diwa Hopkins said the latest figures suggest that the recently improved conditions in the residential construction sector would continue in 2014.

“There are also some important signs emerging from the state-by-state breakdown of new home lending,” she said.

“Most notably, the strong growth experienced in 2013 in New South Wales and Western Australia appears to be moderating. We wouldn’t be discouraged by this development and it is actually in line with our forecasts.

“We’re expecting the recovery in residential construction to spread to and gather momentum in other key states, including Queensland and South Australia, while the pace of improvement eases in New South Wales and Western Australia.”

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