ACT leads mortgage growth figures

The ACT has exhibited the biggest increase in owner-occupier housing finance commitments, increasing 8.8% in April on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the latest ABS figures. This follows a 5.2% contraction in March.

The second biggest mortgage growth spurt occurred in Queensland with commitments up 6.2% (after falling 2.6% in March) an indication of post-flood recovery.

This is followed by increases in Victoria and Western Australia of 4.1%, with NSW up 2.7% and Tasmania up 2.3%.

Mortgage commitments have fallen in the Northern Territory (1.3%) and South Australia (1.2%).

On a nationwide basis, the number of owner occupier commitments increased by 4.8% to 47,347 following falls of 6.3% in January, 4.8% in February and 1.1% in March. 

Financing for new housing has risen 9.4% and 5.1% for the purchase of existing housing.

Westpac economist Julene Lee downplayed the latest figures saying “other indicators suggest that the housing sector remains subdued”. 

“We are inclined to put this result down to a modest give back and an Easter effect. It seems that a much later than usual Easter resulted in more activity in April ahead of the holiday disruption,” Lee says.

“We are not expecting another strong national rise in May - although we do expect a further post flood recovery in Queensland.

Finance for the construction of new dwellings – the lead indicator of dwelling approvals – remains flat, up just 0.4% with investor finance down 1.6%.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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