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Owner-occupier lending goes from strength to strength

By Louise Morrin

Securing finance for that piece of real estate in St George you've had your eye on could now be easier, as the latest figures point to a rise in owner-occupier lending.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed data for August, showing the value of home loans granted to owner-occupiers was up 6.1 per cent from the previous month. Meanwhile, the amount of dwelling commitments given the green light witnessed a 2.9 per cent rise.

Economist at the Housing Industry Association (HIA) Diwa Hopkins said the results pointed towards a "healthy" market, despite the most recent high being reached in the middle of last year.

"Lending to investors seeking to construct housing fell away sharply during the month, following the all-time high reached in July," noted Ms Hopkins.

There was also good news for first-time buyers, as the proportion of lending to this particular group was up from 15.4 per cent in July to 15.7 per cent the following month. This could partly be due to interest rates being so low over recent months, as the official cash rate was reduced to two per cent back in May. 

Investors take a back seat

Measures were brought into force last year to kerb the number of investors entering the Australian property market – and the effects are starting to show. According to the ABS, the value of loans for investment housing were down 0.4 per cent between July and August.

However, Ms Hopkins suggested investors shouldn't be made completely exempt, as they play a critical part in the success of the overall property market. Construction levels have been buoyed by investment activity over recent months, providing more real estate in St George for buyers to choose from.

If you're interested in making the most of these favourable conditions, be sure to speak to the team at Ray White Carlton.

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