Positive signals in January lending: act

Positive signals in January lending: act
Positive signals in January lending: act

A drop in the number of home loans taken in January and a big fall in the average loan size taken by first home buyers given falling or easing house prices highlights the prospect of greater home loan affordability in 2016, according to the head of banking business act., Amanda Watt. 

Over the month of January, the value of new home loans taken by property buyers dropped 3.4% to $31.9 billion, according to new data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The value of home loans for owner occupiers dived 4.3% to $20.5 billion in January from December while the value of home loans taken by investors also fell by 1.6% to $11.4 billion as buyers withdrew from the property market. 

Reflecting greater home loan affordability, the average loan size for first home buyers fell by $9,300 to $338,800 between December and January. The average loan size for all owner occupied housing commitments fell by $5,400 to $372,400 for the same period. The overall number of home loans taken by owner occupiers in January plunged 3.9% to 55,786. 

“While January is traditionally a slower month, these are still positive signals. Home buyers will welcome any drop in funds needed to buy their first home or make a property investment and the latest housing finance data highlights that buyers borrowed almost $10,000 less to buy their first home in January,” said Watt. 

“While the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments was unchanged at 15.1%, the good news is that growth in house prices has slowed in some cities while prices have dropped elsewhere, so people are needing to borrow less to buy,” said Watt.  

Fixed-rate loans, as a proportion of all new home loans, rose to 13.6% in January from 12.9% in December, as borrowers took advantage of low fixed rates, which have in some cases fallen below variable home loan rates due to downward pressure on wholesale market interest rates. 

act. is an innovative banking service that redirects profits back into social projects. For each product act. has, including home loans, act.allocates ‘impact dollars’ – real dollars taken from the profit it earns – and it gives them back to its customers, who can then donate to a community-focused project of their choice listed on letsact.com.au. 

act. recently won Money magazine’s 2016 Best of the Best award for Best Innovative Banking Product. 

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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