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New home lending remains weak

  • Written by HIA

The ABS released the housing, personal and business lending data for May 2024 today, which provides the latest statistics on housing finance commitments.

“Lending for new home purchase and construction decreased by 3.3 per cent in the month of May,” stated HIA Senior Economist Matt King.

“There were 4,693 loans issued for the purchase and construction of new homes in the month of May in seasonally adjusted terms,” added Mr King.

“This leaves the three-month period to May 2024 with 13,988 loans for new homes, which is 7.9 per cent higher than in the previous quarterly period.

“Lending for new homes in the most recent three-month period to May 2024 is up by 8.8 per cent compared to the same time in the previous year.

“Lending for new homes remains around the lowest levels observed since interest rates began rising, and well below the 20-year average.

“This continued weak result in new home lending does not bode well for the supply and delivery of new homes to market in short to medium term.

“There were 66,818 loans issued for the purchase of established homes in the three months to May 2024 (in seasonally adjusted terms).

“This is up by 6.1 per cent compared to the same quarter in the previous year. Over the last year, lending for established homes has remained stable compared to new home lending.

“Lending to first home buyers continues to remain soft in the face of historic affordability constraints.

“The number of loans issued to first home buyers was down 3.3 per cent in May but was up 7.4 per cent in the three-month period to May 2024.

“All categories of home lending point to ongoing weakness in the new home market.

“Only 172,725 dwellings were completed in the calendar year 2023. With annual demand for housing sitting above 227,000 homes a year, and a resulting shortfall more than 50,000 homes a year, this will add further strain to historically high dwelling prices and rents across the country.

In original terms, the total number of loans issued in the three months to May 2024 for the construction or purchase of new homes rose in Western Australia by 49.0 per cent compared to the previous year. This was followed by Queensland (+13.9 per cent), Tasmania (+10.8 per cent), and New South Wales (+4.6 per cent). The other jurisdictions recorded a decline in lending for new homes, led by the Australian Capital Territory (-22.3 per cent), followed by the Northern Territory (-13.1 per cent), Victoria (-2.3 per cent), and South Australia (-1.7 per cent).
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