The Housing Industry Association , the voice of Australia’s residential
building industry has forecast positive performance for new home building
activity in early 2015 based on housing finance figures released by the
Australian Bureau of Statistics.
According to HIA Economist, Diwa Hopkins, while total lending to owner
occupiers excluding refinancing, eased by 1.4 per cent during the month of
October, loans to those constructing a new home expanded by 1.5 per cent to a
level that is 14.6 per cent higher than 12 months previously.
She observed that lending on the investor side of the ledger for the
construction of rental housing or housing for resale remained strong during the
month with the value of lending edging higher by 0.5 per cent to be 24.3 per
cent higher than a year previously.
While HIA has noted APRA’s updated guidelines on its supervision of
lending practices, including the flexibility of its approach, Ms Hopkins comments
it is important that residential construction is not adversely affected by
these augmented supervisory provisions.
According to Ms Hopkins, the residential construction sector has
remained fairly resilient despite a series of disappointing data updates to the
wider economy in recent weeks. Policymakers should be working to ensure that
the sector can continue to be a key source of strength in the wider economy as
the re-balancing of domestic growth continues to take effect.
A comparison of the total number of owner occupier loans for new housing
in October 2014 with October 2013 figures shows increases in Tasmania (+61.5
per cent), the Northern Territory (+35.1 per cent), the Australian Capital
Territory (+12.3 per cent), Victoria (+9.5 per cent), Western Australia (+8.5
per cent), Queensland (+4.2 per cent) and New South Wales (+1.2 per cent). In
South Australia there was a decline of 3.3 per cent.