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Home buying intentions shrank in December

Plans to purchase a home declined in December 2020, while home loan application numbers also weakened compared with November, according to the CBA.

Data from the Commonwealth Bank Household Spending Intentions (HSI) series has revealed that spending intentions for home buying pulled back in December 2020 after jumping higher in November.

However, the trend was flat on the month.

Home loan applications also shrunk in December from a month earlier, although they were higher than the levels a year ago.

Commenting on the trends, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) senior economist Belinda Allen said: “We continue to expect the home buying market to be a key source of support for the Australian economy in 2021 – driven largely by the very low level of interest rates.”

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Meanwhile, motor vehicle spending intentions extended their recovery in December, with Ms Allen stating that it ended 2020 with “solid momentum”.

“Relative to the end of 2019, December 2020 saw strong increases in actual spending on new and used motor vehicles and an increase in loan applications to purchase a motor vehicle,” Ms Allen said.

She added that recovery in the housing sector is likely to support the outlook for the motor vehicle sector.

The figures have come at the same time as results from a survey by online lender Lendi, which found that the COVID-19 crisis has not dented property ownership goals for the majority of Australians.

Only 22 per cent of respondents said that they have become less ambitious about their home ownership goals in 2021.

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The HIS series, which offers a forward-looking view by analysing actual customer behaviour from CBA’s transactions data along with household spending search activity from Google trends, also found that Google searches for travel increased in December, pushing spending intentions for travel into positive territory for the first time in 2020.

Meanwhile, entertainment spending rose in December, buoyed by both higher actual spending and Google search activity, while intentions to spend on health and fitness also increased.

[Related: Loan approvals soar to record $24bn]

Home buying intentions shrank in December
Home buying intentions shrink in December
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.

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