According to the Housing Figures issued for March 2010 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of home loans for owner occupied homes fell by 4.1 per cent, compared to the previous month. “This is the ninth consecutive month of falls in housing finance. We are now down to the levels of the global financial crisis in 2008”, said REIA President, Mr David Airey.
“The decreases in lending were across the whole spectrum of established and new dwellings and across all states and territories”, added Mr Airey. In March 2010, 16.1% of the home loans written were for owner-occupiers. This was even lower than the figures for February 2010. This figure is the lowest for some five years, and compares to the long-run average of 20.1 per cent.
“The increasing decline in the number of first home buyers is a major reason for the decline in overall home loan commitments. Each month it looks more and more like first home buyers are a dying breed,” continued Mr Airey. “It is time for the Reserve Bank to stop the spiral of continuing interest rate increases”, concluded Mr Airey. All indicators to date suggest that rates will be kept on hold in June 2010.