A total of 55,786 loans (excluding refinancing) were approved for owner-occupied housing in January, down 3.9 per cent from the month prior.
Geordan Murray, economist at the Housing Industry Association, says the decline was partly driven by lending to owner occupiers for the construction and purchase of new homes.
“Loans to households purchasing and building new homes fell 2.9 per cent from the level in December. However, lending in January 2016 was up by 6.7 per cent compared with January 2015,” Mr Murray said.
The total value of owner occupier loans also fell during the month, down 4.3 per cent to $20.54 million.
However, HIA noted that the number of owner occupier loans for building and buying new homes in the three months ending in January exceeded the same time period last year.
The strongest increase was seen in the Northern Territory (+67.5 per cent), followed by NSW (+17.1 per cent), Victoria (+9.6 per cent) and the ACT (+6.5 per cent).
Volumes also increased in South Australia (+4.9 per cent) and in Queensland by (+4.4 per cent).
Lending volumes fell in Tasmania (-27.9 per cent) and Western Australia by (-19.2 per cent).
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