April 4th,2022

New housing loan commitments fell 3.7 per cent to $32.3 billion in February 2022 (seasonally adjusted), following a record high in the previous month, according to data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) President, Mr Hayden Groves said the latest ABS Figures show the fall in new housing loan commitments was driven by a 4.7 per cent fall in the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments which is the first since October 2021.

Mr Groves said first home buyers continue to ease with the number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers dropping 8.3 per cent in February 2022.

“This was 36.7 per cent lower compared to a year ago, and continued the decline seen since the recent peak in first home buyer lending in January 2021.

“According to our Housing Affordability Report, the number of first home buyers decreased to 37,620, a fall of 0.4% during the quarter with first home buyers now making up 34.1% of owner occupier dwelling commitments, a decrease of 7.8 percentage points over the year.

“Falls in the number of owner-occupier first home buyer commitments were seen across all states and territories.

“Falls in the value of owner-occupier loan commitments were seen across most states and territories with the largest falls in New South Wales (down 10.5%) and Victoria (down 5.2%).

“Investor lending also fell with the value of investor loan commitments dropping 1.8 per cent to $10.8 billion.

“Despite these early signs of a usual softening in a pre- Federal Election, the market is still historically very strong and investors in particular should continue to buy with confidence knowing negative gearing now has bi-partisan support.”

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