Home loan approval figures improve in April

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June 14, 2011

Home loan approvals rose by 4.8 percent in April, but the RBA warns this is not a sign the lending slump is over.

With Australian mortgage approvals currently at a 10-year low, the market rebounded slightly in April with loans for new homes increasing by 9.4 percent and by 5.1 percent for existing properties. Nationally, that’s a seasonally adjusted total of 47,347 – the highest increase since 2009.

According to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), that’s a grand total of $19.848 billion in loans granted for purchasing or constructing homes or apartments.

Economists were initially predicting a 2.3 percent increase in the number of home loan approvals for the month but approvals doubled, even in flood-ravaged Queensland where the rebuild is well and truly underway.

However, the RBA is urging caution and says the numbers are still below mid-2010 levels, and 20,000 below their June 2009 peak when the first homeowners grant was released.

First homebuyers in particular are still struggling to attain their slice of the great Australian dream. The number of first timers entering the market fell from 16 percent to 15.8 percent, significantly down from the 10-year average of 18.2 percent. April data also revealed that fixed rate loans only accounted for 5.6 percent of loan approvals, down from 10 percent over the past decade, indicating that mortgage holders are not overly concerned about much-touted rate rises.


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