Home Loan Figures Reflect Consumer Caution

The latest official home loan approval figures reflect the continuing caution from consumers in the current economic environment despite showing a slight improvement, according to leading mortgage broker Loan Market.

Loan Market corporate spokesperson Paul Smith said the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures for July, 2012, show a 2.02 per cent rise in the number of home loan approvals from July, 2011.

But Mr Smith said the July result is down 1.0 per cent from June, 2012, and 0.8 per cent below the average of the previous six months.

“Overall, the home finance picture remains in rebound from historical low levels in 2011 and we are likely to see further minimal growth until additional economic incentives are applied ” he said.

“While we have seen some modest improvements after a few interest rate cuts earlier this year, the fact remains these latest ABS numbers demonstrate the cautious nature of consumers.

“Many are simply waiting to get into the market when they believe conditions are right.

“This can be an indication that demand is being held back and we could be in for a resurgence of buyers if conditions improve over the next few months.”

Mr Smith said while there were some patchy results nationwide, the Northern Territory and Western Australia enjoyed strong growth in the past 12 months.

“Leading the resurgent numbers on month-to-month results is the NT, which is up 23.41 per cent on July 2012 while WA has seen a 15.28 per cent increase,” he said.

“At the other end of the scale, Tasmania experienced a 9.28 per cent drop over the 12 months although there had been a 4.09 per cent improvement in the last six months.”