The monthly publication of housing finance data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is very useful information for those with an interest in the market.
It catalogues the number of loans issued, their value and the average amounts. In doing so it provides a useful proxy for buyer activity in Victoria.
In the month of July the ABS reported that there were 13,211 loans financed, compared to 14,147 in June and 13,245 in July 2010. This is around six per cent lower than average over the past five years but higher than the low of 13,055 in 2008. The lower volume of sales is reflected in the number of loans issued.
This is still much higher than the last time clearance rates were persistently in the 50s in 2004, when the number of loans issued was between 10,000 and 12,000 per month.
First home buyers comprised a mere 15.8 per cent of loans issued in July compared to 17.6 July last year and the high of 30.2 per cent in May 2009, when first home buyers responded to generous financial incentives. In raw numbers that translated to 2083 loans in July compared to 2337 July last year and a substantial 4,675 in May 2009.
The average loan amounts provide an interesting reflection on prices. In July the average loan for a first home buyer was $281,000, which is very similar to a year ago but well above the $255,600 only two years ago. This is because of a large increase in house prices between 2009 and 2010, an outcome that is not apparent this year.
This information is presented in a simple graph format on the