Strong finance figures are further evidence of improving property markets

One of the leading indicators of our property markets that I watch is finance approvals.

Usually more people getting finance approvals means more people buying property a few months down the track and yesterday the ABS reported that the value of Housing Finance Approvals rose 1.4% in February, with property investor approvals up 1.8%.

Owner-occupied values rose 1.2%, with volumes up 2.0%. Interestingly this is the first gain in volumes since September 2012.

This is further evidence of the slow but steady improvement in our property markets.

The NAB commented as follows:

Australia’s housing finance approvals (in value terms) rose by 1.4% in February, after the 2.3% rise in January. Approvals have risen in five of the past seven months and the upward trend continues, supported mainly by investor approvals. Investor approvals rose 1.8% in February, and are up  15% over the past year. The increased demand from investors has been one of the key drivers for multi-unit dwelling approvals performing better than private houses in recent months.

Owner-occupiers also stronger in February, with volumes rising 2.0% (as we expected, market +1.5%) and values rising 1.2%. But in trend terms the owner-occupied market remains soft. Volumes are falling 0.5% in trend terms, while values are flat. Values have been holding up much better than volumes in recent quarters, suggesting that higher-priced homes are seeing more activity. That is also evident in the first home buyer stats ? The share of approvals for first home buyers fell further to 14.4%, which is the lowest % since June 2004.

The Commonwealth Bank summarised the situation as follows:

April2013PropertyLendingStats

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Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who create wealth for their clients through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's been once agin been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and his opinions are regularly featured in the media. Visit Metropole.com.au


'Strong finance figures are further evidence of improving property markets' have 3 comments

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