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5609.0 - Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, Aug 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/10/2003   
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AUGUST KEY FIGURES



Aug
Jul 2003 to
2003
Aug 2003
no.
% change

TREND ESTIMATES
Total number of dwelling commitments
58,566
1.6
Construction of dwellings
5,775
0.7
Purchase of new dwellings
1,656
1.0
Purchase of established dwellings(a)
51,135
1.7
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
Total number of dwelling commitments
58,741
2.1
Construction of dwellings
5,748
0.1
Purchase of new dwellings
1,621
-5.0
Purchase of established dwellings(a)
51,372
2.6

(a) Includes refinancing.


Graph - Housing finance
Graph - Number of dwellings


AUGUST KEY POINTS


TREND ESTIMATES
  • The trend series for the number of housing finance commitments recorded a monthly increase of 1.6% in August 2003, while the trend series excluding refinancing of existing loans rose by 1.2%. The trend series for the value of commitments increased by 2.7%.
  • Growth in the construction finance trend series eased to a 0.7% increase in August 2003, the fifth monthly easing since growth peaked in March. The trend for the purchase of new dwellings increased by 1.0%, while commitments for established dwellings rose by 1.7% and the refinancing trend increased by 2.6%.


SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES
  • The number of housing finance commitments (seasonally adjusted) increased by 2.1% in August 2003. There were increases in refinancing of established dwellings (up 5.2%), purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (up 1.3%) and construction of dwellings (up 0.1%). This was partly offset by a decrease in purchase of new dwellings (down 5.0%). A record 29.5% of all finance approvals were for the refinancing of an existing loan.
  • Value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) rose by 2.5% in August 2003.

ORIGINAL ESTIMATES
  • First home buyer commitments as a percentage of total commitments increased slightly to 13.8% in August 2003. The average loan size for first home buyers was $186,700 in August 2003, up from $180,600 in July.


NOTES


CHANGES IN THIS ISSUE

From this issue trend and seasonal annual growth rates have been omitted from the key figures area on the front page. Trend and seasonally adjusted growth rates differ little from unadjusted (original) growth rates.

An additional column "Total excluding refinancing of established dwellings" has been added to tables 1 and 2.

DATA QUALITY

The August data should be considered as preliminary. There are some quality issues in reported data which ABS has not been able to resolve fully in time to meet the publication timetable. The August data are the ABS's best estimates, but there may be revisions. We are confident that any revised estimate for the growth in the number and value of total housing finance commitments (seasonally adjusted) would be within about one percentage point of the current estimate.

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) increased by 2.1% in August 2003 after a 0.7% decrease in July. The increase was mainly due to the refinancing of established dwellings (up 859, 5.2%) and purchase of established dwellings excluding refinancing (up 421, 1.3%). There was also an increase in construction of dwellings (up 0.1%). A decrease in purchase of new dwellings (down 86, -5.0%) partly offset these increases. The total housing commitments trend increased in August (up 917, 1.6%). There were increases (seasonally adjusted) in Queensland (up 817, 6.9%), Victoria (up 371, 2.9%), NSW (up 333, 1.8%) and NT (up 39, 11.5%), while decreases were recorded for WA (down 179, -2.4%), ACT (down 107, -11.9%), Tasmania (down 75, -5.5%) and SA (down 51, -1.1%). The trend increased in all states, for NT there was a trend decline, and ACT remained flat.

Graph - Number financed including refinancing


In original terms, the percentage of first home buyer commitments increased slightly to 13.8% of all commitments. The percentage of commitments at a fixed rate of interest (for at least two years) increased from 7.2% in July 2003 to 8.6% in August 2003.

Number financed excluding refinancing

The number of dwellings financed excluding refinancing (seasonally adjusted) increased in August 2003 (up 341, 0.8%), after a 3.4% fall in July. The trend series increased by 1.2% in August.

Graph - Number financed excluding refinancing



Value of commitments

The total value of commitments (seasonally adjusted) rose by 2.5% in August 2003, after a rise of 3.4% in July. The trend series increased 2.7%, continuing the run of increases from March 2002.


PURPOSE OF FINANCE


Construction of dwellings

Construction commitments (seasonally adjusted) increased by 0.1% in August 2003. The trend series increased by 0.7% in August, following larger increases in the previous months in 2003.

Graph - Construction of dwellings



Purchase of new dwellings

The number of finance commitments for the purchase of new dwellings (seasonally adjusted) fell by 5.0% in August 2003, after an increase of 6.0% in July 2003. The trend series rose 1.0% in August, with growth easing since December 2002.
Graph - Purchase of new dwellings



Purchase of established dwellings

The seasonally adjusted established dwelling finance series rose by 2.6% in August 2003, following a 1.0% fall in July. The trend in finance commitments for the purchase of established dwellings rose by 1.7% in August 2003.
Graph - Purchase of established dwellings



Refinancing

Refinancing commitments grew strongly in August 2003, increasing by 5.2% in seasonally adjusted terms. As a result, trend growth remained strong, at 2.6%.

In August, 29.5% of all loans (seasonally adjusted) were for the refinancing of existing dwellings.

Graph - Refinancing



TYPE OF LENDER


Banks

The seasonally adjusted bank series increased by 3.2% in August 2003, rebounding from the 1.1% decrease recorded in July. Growth in the trend series eased slightly to 1.9%.

Graph - TYPE OF LENDER, Banks


Non-banks

In seasonally adjusted terms, housing commitments by non-banks fell by 1.1% in August 2003, after a 0.5% increase in the previous month. The decrease in the adjusted series is primarily due to a fall of 6.3% (or 223 commitments) for non-bank lenders other than permanent building societies and wholesale lenders, as well as a decrease of 5.8% (or 143 commitments) for permanent building societies. These decreases were partially offset by an increase recorded by wholesale lenders (up 205, 2.3%). The non-bank trend series continued to increase, but at the slower rate of 0.8% for August.

Graph - TYPE OF LENDER, Non-banks



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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