Latest data from the ABS for March 2017 shows that the trend estimate for the total value of dwelling finance commitments excluding alterations and additions was $33.4 billion, down 0.1%. Owner occupied housing commitments was $20.1 billion up 0.1% while investment housing commitments was $13.2 billion down 0.3%.
Within the mix, owner occupied refinance flows fell 1.1% and investment finance by individuals fell 0.5%. In trend terms, the number of commitments for the construction of dwellings rose 0.4% and the number of commitments for the purchase of new dwellings rose 0.2%. The number of commitments for the purchase of established dwellings fell 0.1%.
The number of owner occupied first time buyers rose in March by 20.5% to 7946 in original terms, a rise of 1,350. In original terms, the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments rose to 13.6% in March 2017 from 13.3% in February 2017.
The DFA surveys saw a small rise in first time buyers going to the investment sector as their first property purchase. Total first time buyers were up 12.3% to 12,756, still well below their peak from 2011 when they comprised more than 30% of transactions.
In this issue, revisions have been made to the original series as a result of improved reporting of survey and administrative data. These revisions have affected the following series:
- Owner-occupied finance from May 2012 to February 2017.
- Investment housing finance from July 2013 to February 2017.
- Housing loan outstandings to households for owner occupation series for the periods May 2016 to January 2017.
The number and value of commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings have been revised for the period May 2012 to June 2013, and consequentially the number and value of commitments for the purchase of established dwellings have been revised for the same period.