FINANCE FIGURES RISE IN DECEMBER
Century 21, the largest real estate organisation in the Asia Pacific region, believes that improved housing finance figures in December 2011 could point to a strengthening of the Australian residential real estate market on the back of recent rate cuts.
“Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the total value of dwelling commitments, excluding alterations and additions, rose 3.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in December 2011 over the previous month,” said Charles Tarbey, Chairman and Owner of Century 21 Australia.
“This data is pleasing and likely reflects the fact that buyers were encouraged by and responsive to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s decision to cut interest rates in both November and December last year.”
The data shows that on a national basis, the seasonally adjusted number of owner occupied housing commitments rose by 2.3 per cent over the month.
In addition, the seasonally adjusted number of mortgages that were refinanced by owner occupiers rose by 2.3 per cent.
“An increase in owner occupier commitments could signal that home buyers across the country are gradually starting to return to the property market,” continued Charles Tarbey.
“Whether this trend continues will depend on how prospective buyers react to the Reserve Bank’s decision to keep rates on hold in February and the impact this move has on levels of buyer confidence.
“The refinancing figures are also positive, as they may be an indication that current mortgage holders are proactively taking advantage of rate cuts and seeking out the best lenders. Such willingness to switch lenders is essential for increasing competition between the major banks and other lenders, ultimately ensuring that the lowest possible rates are being passed on to customers,” concluded Charles Tarbey.