The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released housing finance data for the month of June, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 2.7% increase in the number of owner-occupied finance commitments over the month. It was the fifth consecutive increase in owner-occupied commitments, but missed analyst’s expectations of a 2.2% rise.
The number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments (excluding refinancings) registered a seasonally-adjusted 2.2% increase over the month of June to be tracking 7% above the five-year moving average level. The series is also up 14.9% on June 2012.
The average loan size rose 0.7% over the month and was up 0.9% over the year. The below charts show the series on a 3-month moving average basis (in order to smooth volatility). Note the the improvement in average loan size since falling over the first quarter.
First home buyer (FHB) commitments weakened materially, recording a 10% non-seasonally adjusted decline in June and represented just 15.1% of total owner-occupied commitments. They were also 13% lower than June 2012 (see below charts).
The ABS only provides the value of investor finance commitments. These were down by 1% in June but were up 18% over the year (see next chart).
Overall, this is another strong release, which is being reflected in recent house price data. The one big negative is that first home buyer (FHB) mortgage demand remains weak, and is likely to weaken further from July as changes to FHB Grants favouring new construction over pre-existing dwellings take effect in Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.