Strong growth in housing finance for owner occupiers

New data on housing finance shows owner-occupiers are taking up the slack in the housing market but also underline the risk of potential changes to negative gearing, according to the Property Council.

Today’s ABS Housing Finance data shows the value of housing finance commitments increased nationally by 13.2 percent over the 12 months to December 2015.

Value of housing finance growth by state (12 months to December 2015)

 “Owner-occupiers are seizing the opportunity from low interest rates, stronger supply and good conditions in some states, particularly NSW and Victoria,” said Glenn Byres, the Property Council’s Chief of Housing and Policy.

“The value of housing finance for owner-occupiers increased by 15.6 percent in the 12 months to December 2015 – compared to 9.7 percent for investors.

“This suggests owner-occupiers are confident about the state of the market, and curbs to investor lending are having an effect.

“This debunks the myth changes to negative gearing are needed to peel back the effects of investors in the market.

“At a time when housing construction is one of the few parts of the economy working well, policymakers need to be careful about damaging confidence by tinkering with negative gearing.”