|M/M percent change||-1.5%||-3.0%||-4.2%||-4.5%|
|Yr/Yr percent change||-4.2%||1.8%||1.6%|
The number of dwelling commitments for owner occupied housing fell by 3.0 percent in August, a sharper drop than consensus expectations of a fall of 1.5 percent. This is the fifth monthly decline in this series so far this year and the second consecutive decline after a drop of 4.5 percent in July (previously minus 4.2 percent). The number of dwelling commitments fell by 4.2 percent in year-on-year terms in August.
This weakness in the headline number was mainly driven by a drop in commitments for the purchase of established (minus 3.9 percent), as well as commitments for the purchase of new dwellings (minus 0.4 percent). This was partly offset by an increase of 3.7 percent in commitments for the construction of dwellings.
In value terms, the total value of dwelling commitments excluding alterations and additions fell 1.0 percent in August. This reflected a drop in the total value of owner occupied housing commitments (minus 1.6 percent), offset by a small increase in investment housing commitments with fixed loans (0.1 percent).
This recent moderation in housing finance is in line with the Reserve Bank of Australia's recent assessment that conditions in established housing markets have eased over 2016. This suggests that concerns about overheating in the property market may not one of the major factors in upcoming policy decisions.
Home Loans data are included in the monthly housing finance report. The report also contains data for home loans for secured and unsecured housing finance commitments for owner occupation, commitments for construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale and loans outstanding to individuals/households for housing.
The health of the housing market is always a key element in evaluating the strength of the economy. And it is no different for Australia. The data released here are for secured and unsecured housing finance commitments for owner occupation, commitments for construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale, and loan outstanding to individuals/households for housing.
For secured housing finance for owner occupation, these data give the number and value of commitments made by banks, permanent building societies, wholesale lenders not elsewhere classified and other lenders, provided to individuals/households. These commitments are classified by construction of dwellings, the purchase of new and established dwellings, the refinancing of existing dwellings and alterations and additions to dwellings.