The latest housing finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that total finance commitments rose by 0.7 per cent in January following a 2.7 per cent fall in December 2017.
ANZ Research noted that total finance is still 2.6 per cent lower than a year ago.
“In trend terms, total finance fell [by] 0.3 per cent month-on-month, the fifth consecutive monthly decline. Both owner-occupier and investor lending rose in January, although the bounce back was more marked for investor lending.”
ABS data shows that the value of investor finance rose by 1.1 per cent in January following a 2.9 per cent fall the previous month. However, the value of investor finance “is still sharply lower” than a year ago, down by 12.1 per cent for the year.
Owner-occupier finance rose by 0.3 per cent in January to be 6.7 per cent higher over the year.
ANZ noted that the proportion of housing finance for both investors and occupiers has stabilised around 45 per cent.
“Encouragingly, finance for first home buyers rose by a solid 1.7 per cent in January, fully reversing December’s fall. In annual terms, finance for first home buyers remains strong, at 36.6 per cent year-on-year and accounted for 12 per cent of total finance (the highest share since July 2013).”