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Credit crunch sparks sharp drop in housing approvals

Tighter credit conditions have spurred a 13.6 per cent annual decline in dwelling approvals, according to an ANZ analysis of the latest ABS data.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that, in seasonally adjusted terms, dwelling approvals fell by 9.4 per cent in August and by 13.6 per cent year-on-year.

The fall was driven by a 17.2 per cent drop in apartment approvals, which declined by 23.4 per cent in the year to August 2018.

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The ABS reported a slighter reduction in house approvals of 1.9 per cent in August and 4.4 per cent year-on-year.

Reflecting on the data, ANZ senior economist Felicity Emmett observed that the tighter credit environment has continued to affect dwelling approvals.

“Once again, the weakness was concentrated in apartment approvals, which fell by a sharp 18 per cent, likely reflecting the more difficult financing conditions the sector is facing,” Ms Emmett said.

“Tighter credit conditions are the main reason we expect dwelling approvals to continue to trend lower in the near term, consistent with the near-term signal from the housing finance data.”

According to the ABS data, non-residential approvals also fell in August, dropping by 24 per cent, following the 31 per cent increase in July.

Further, the data revealed that the value of total dwelling approved fell by 9.5 per cent in August, following a 6.9 per cent rise in July, with the value of residential dwellings rising by 0.7 of a percentage point and the value of non-residential dwellings falling by 24.5 per cent.

[Related: Warning issued over credit slowdown ramifications]

Credit crunch sparks sharp drop in housing approvals
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