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Record rise for home loans as HomeBuilder makes its mark

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A surge in home finance for residential land can be attributed to government stimulus packages. Photo: Shutterstock

Record rise for home loans as HomeBuilder makes its mark

Housing finance spiked in July, with a surge in demand for residential land driving the biggest monthly increase in loan commitments on record.

Housing finance spiked in July, with a surge in demand for residential land driving the biggest monthly increase in loan commitments on record.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the seasonally adjusted value of new owner-occupier loans rose by 10.7 per cent in July, with the biggest gains in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland.

The July rise followed a historic fall in the value of loans in May, after the COVID-19 pandemic put the brakes on homebuying activity across all states.

“This is the largest monthly increase in the history of the series and reflects the easing of social distancing restrictions following the first wave of COVID-19,” Real Estate Institute of Australia president Adrian Kelly said.

“The recovery in lending is not unexpected with restrictions on movements easing throughout the month, but the roller coaster will continue with further restrictions in Australia’s second largest market of Melbourne in August and September.”

The number of loans issued to buy residential land rose by 30 per cent, with the rise illustrating the impacts of federal and state government stimulus initiatives.

“Housing finance figures show that lending for the construction of a new home rose in July for the first time since February, to the highest level in two years,” Housing Industry Association chief economist Tim Reardon said.

 “Not only does this data show that there has been an increase in the number of loans for the construction of a new home, there was also an increase in the purchase of new and established homes.

 “There has been a tangible improvement in sentiment and confidence in the housing market.”

Mr Reardon said the sudden increase in demand for land was experienced across all states, with the biggest gains in Queensland (up 145 per cent) and Western Australia (up 110 per cent).

“The surge in lending for land purchases highlights a risk that the availability of residential lots where on-site work can begin within the time-frame of the HomeBuilder package could limit take up under the program,” he said.

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