Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown 2014 home loan approvals are off to their strongest start in five years.
Loan Market director Mark De Martino said that 13 per cent more home loans were approved in the first two months of 2014 than compared to 2013. The data also showed it was the highest total of January and February approvals since 2009.
“The data released today by the ABS confirms that 2014 is off to a great start – home owners and buyers are returning to the market and they’re building momentum,” he said.
The ABS figures showed that 52,460 home loans were approved in February, a two percent rise from January. Mr De Martino pointed out that with February being the shortest month of the year, approvals for March and April could set new records.
“In the shortest month of the year there were only 227 fewer home loan approvals than the best month in 2013. Considering this, we should expect to see demand for finance growing and reaching new highs throughout 2014,” he said.
Mr De Martino said that with no clear indication on where rates were going to head next, consumers would benefit from the rate stability and banks aggressively competing for new business.
“Without the cash rate moving, banks and lenders are offering other incentives to get new customers, such as cash back offers. Fixed rates haven’t been this competitive in years too – lenders are adjusting rates in opposite directions for different rate terms.”
“The long period of rate stability has been great for more cautious consumers. We’ve seen many buyers take up variable rates because of their relative stability over the past year. It can be easier to build a budget around repayments that stay the same.”
Article first appeared on, and is courtesy of, Loanmarket.com.au.
Image courtesy of the excellent MacroBusiness.