Housing finance flat in May

The demand for home loans was flat in May against expectations of a fall, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The demand for home loans was flat in May against expectations of a fall, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The data showed the number of home loans granted in May held broadly steady in seasonally adjusted terms at 52,092.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected the number of housing finance commitments to fall by 0.5% in the month.

But excluding refinancing commitments, the number of loan approvals declined by 1% in May. 

Total housing finance by value fell 0.8% in May, seasonally adjusted, to $27.489 billion.

The value of investment housing loans fell a seasonally adjusted 0.9% to $10.757bn.

The value of loan approvals to owner-occupiers declined by 0.7% to $16.732bn.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the value of loan approvals to first home buyers rose by 18.2% in May. However, a climb of that magnitude is common for May, which is a seasonally strong month for first home buyer activity.

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