Matthew Hassan, Research Analyst at Westpac, notes that Australian owner occupier housing finance dips 0.5% in March, largely in line with expectations, value of investor lending up 0.8% – essentially stable.
“Australian housing finance approvals to owner occupiers dipped 0.5% in March but were flat ex refi. The consensus forecast was for a flat result. The value of investor loans rose 0.8% after a sharp 5.7% pull back in Feb.”
“All up the data was largely as expected – note that the latest round of macro prudential tightening was only announced in late March with impacts likely to come through in coming months.”
“The detail showed, ex refi, a solid gain in owner occupier approvals in NSW (+2.9%mth) offset by falls in the other major states ranging from –1.3%mth in Vic and –1.8%mth in SA to –3.4%mth in Qld and –4.4%mth in WA.”
“Construction-related finance approvals posted a 4.3%mth solid rise led by a near 10% lift in finance for the purchase of newly built dwellings (which includes apartments and ‘off the plan’ purcahses).”
“Latest auction market results suggests housing market conditions have steadied a touch in Apr-May after cooling earlier in the year from a very strong finish to 2016.”