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5609.0 - Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2004   
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DECEMBER KEY FIGURES



Dec
Nov 2003 to
2003
Dec 2003
no.
% change

TREND ESTIMATES
Total number of dwelling commitments
59,743
–0.6
Construction of dwellings
5,390
–1.3
Purchase of new dwellings
1,701
0.1
Purchase of established dwellings(a)
52,652
–0.5
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
Total number of dwelling commitments
58,239
–0.8
Construction of dwellings
5,212
–3.2
Purchase of new dwellings
1,681
–1.4
Purchase of established dwellings(a)
51,346
–0.5

(a) Includes refinancing.

Graph - Housing Finance, Number of Dwellings, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted Graph - Number of Dwellings, Trend Estimates, Percentage Change


DECEMBER KEY POINTS


TREND ESTIMATES
  • The trend estimate for the number of housing finance commitments for owner occupation declined by 0.6%. The trend series excluding refinancing fell by 1.7% in December. The trend series for the value of commitments decreased by 0.7%.
  • The construction finance trend series recorded a decrease of 1.3% in December 2003, the fifth consecutive monthly decrease. The trend for the purchase of new dwellings increased by 0.1%. The trend in finance commitments for the purchase of established dwellings fell for the second consecutive month with a drop of 0.5% in December 2003. The refinancing trend continues to increase, but at a slower rate.

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • The number of housing finance commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased by 0.8% in December 2003. There were decreases in construction of dwellings (down 3.2%), purchase of new dwellings (down 1.4%) and purchase of established dwellings (down 0.5%). There was a decrease in the purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down 1.4%) and an increase in refinancing of established dwellings (up 0.9%). A record 33.5% of all finance approvals were for the refinancing of an existing loan.
  • Value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell by 2.5% in December 2003.

ORIGINAL ESTIMATES
  • The percentage of fixed rate commitments (for two years or more) fell to 14.3% in December 2003, after five consecutive monthly increases. The average loan value was $185,700 in December 2003, down from the November figure of $187,100.
  • First home buyer commitments as a percentage of total commitments increased slightly to 13.1% in December 2003.

NOTES


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

There are no changes in this issue.

INVESTMENT HOUSING

The value of commitments for the construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale is published in the monthly Lending Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5671.0).


SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

DWELLINGS FINANCED

Number financed including refinancing

Total housing commitments (seasonally adjusted) decreased for the third consecutive month, decreasing by 0.8% in December 2003 after a fall of 3.9% in November 2003. The decrease was mainly due to the purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (down 436, -1.4%), while there were also falls in construction of dwellings (down 173, -3.2%) together with purchases of new dwellings (down 24, -1.4%). The number of refinancing commitments increased (up 180, 0.9%). The total housing commitments trend decreased in December (down 347, -0.6%).

There were decreases (seasonally adjusted) in Queensland (down 214, -1.8%), SA (down 156, -3.1%), NSW (down 143, -0.8%), Victoria (down 109, -0.8%), Tasmania (down 66, -5.6%), NT (down 28, -6.3%), ACT (down 9, -1.2%) and WA (down 3). The trend decreased in all states and territories except WA and NT.

Graph - Number of dwellings financed including refinancing, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted

In original terms, the percentage of commitments at a fixed rate of interest (for at least two years) decreased to 14.3%, after five months of increases. The percentage of first home buyers increased slightly to 13.1% in December 2003.

Number financed excluding refinancing

The number of dwellings financed excluding refinancing (seasonally adjusted) decreased in December 2003 (down 633, -1.6%), the third consecutive monthly decrease. The trend series decreased by 1.7% in December.

Graph - Number of dwellings financed excluding refinancing, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted


Value of commitments

The total value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) fell for the third consecutive month, falling by 2.5% in December 2003. The trend series decreased by 0.7% in December.


PURPOSE OF FINANCE

Construction of dwellings

The seasonally adjusted construction finance series declined by 3.2% in December 2003, after a fall of 5.5% in November. The trend fell 1.3% in December, continuing the decline since August.
Graph - Construction of Dwellings, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted


Purchase of new dwellings

The number of finance commitments for the purchase of new dwellings (seasonally adjusted) fell by 1.4% in December 2003, after a decrease of 0.1% in November. The trend series rose 0.1% in December, following a run of larger increases since September 2002.
Graph - Purchase of New Dwellings, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted



Purchase of established dwellings

The seasonally adjusted established dwelling finance series decreased for the third consecutive month, falling by 0.5% (down 256) in December 2003. The trend series decreased by 0.5% in December.
Graph - Purchase of Established Dwellings, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted

Refinancing

The number of refinancing commitments (seasonally adjusted) rose by 0.9% in December 2003, making December the eighth consecutive month of growth. Trend growth eased to 1.7%.

In December, a record 33.5% of all loans (seasonally adjusted) were for the refinancing of existing dwellings.

Graph - Number of Refinancing Commitments, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted


TYPE OF LENDER

Banks

Bank finance (seasonally adjusted) decreased for the second consecutive month, falling by 1.3% (down 579) in December 2003 after a decrease of 4.9% in November. The trend series fell 0.8% in December.
Graph - Bank Finance, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted



Non-banks

Non-bank commitments (seasonally adjusted) rose by 0.8% in December 2003, after decreases in the previous two months. This increase was primarily driven by the seasonally adjusted increase recorded for wholesale lenders (up 2.4%) while permanent building society activity increased slightly (up 0.1%). The non-bank trend series remained virtually unchanged in December 2003.
Graph - Non-banks Commitments, Trend and Seasonally Adjusted

FURTHER INFORMATION

For further information about these and related statistics, contact Darren Page on Canberra 02 6252 6731, or the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.

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