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Lending figures dispute ‘overheating’ label

By Kevin Kelly

It seems you can't even open a newspaper these days without reading some kind of doomsday prophecy about the Australian property market. Chiefly because of the way things are going in Melbourne and Sydney, there is a never​ending stream of worrywarts who believe the market as a whole is headed toward some kind of catastrophe due to investors. 

Australians, then, will find some solace in the fact that the latest figures indicate the property market is moderating. This will please anyone who is worried that the value of their real estate in Bunbury, Australind or Eaton will be affected by some kind of housing crisis. 

According to the figures, the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments dropped by 0.6 per cent over June to 52,521, which the Real Estate Institute of Western Australia noted was experienced by every state and territory except two. The number of construction commitments also fell by 0.9 per cent. The fact that these are small decreases indicates that the market is not experiencing a sharp correction, but rather a sustainable adjustment. 

Real Estate Institute of Australia president Neville Sanders reacted positively to the figures, viewing them as a sign that the market was not on its way to disaster. 

"The lending figures indicate a market that is moderating, including the hotspots of Sydney and Melbourne, with June 2015 being the fifth consecutive month of modest drops in lending levels if refinancing is excluded," said Mr Sanders. 

"The declining housing lending suggest any concerns of an over heating property market lead by investor activity should be laid to rest."

Anyone who was viewing the property market with suspicion as they decided whether or not to purchase real estate in Australind and other areas will be heartened by this news. It shows us yet again that the most dire prognostications are rarely accurate. 

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