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Demand for home loans is accelerating again

Demand for mortgages picked up again in December, even as new figures showed house prices had risen further at the start of 2022.

Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe has again warned that with interest rates at historic lows it is important that lending standards are maintained and that borrowers have adequate reserves .

However, he said after Tuesday’s first board meeting of the year he would remain “patient” before lifting the exchange rate.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said home loans rose 4.4% in December, driven by a 5.3% increase in loans to homeowners.

“This is the second consecutive monthly increase in homeowner loans and follows declines seen from June 2021 to October 2021,” said ABS’s acting finance and wealth manager, Amanda Seneviratne.

Loans to first-time homeowners also rose for the second straight month, up 1.3%.

However, first-time homebuyer loans were 21.5% lower than a year earlier.

Meanwhile, investors’ home loans rose another 2.4% to a staggering 73.9% higher than a year earlier.

Separate data showed house price growth picked up a notch during the seasonally quiet January holiday period, but nowhere as quickly as a year ago.

The national CoreLogic home value index rose 1.1% in January, for an annual rate of 22.4%, the highest level since June 1989.

In terms of approximate dollar value, the typical Australian home is now worth $131,236 more than a year ago.

“Early indications are that housing markets are starting 2022 with a similar trend to what we saw late last year. Values ​​are still rising globally, but nowhere near as fast as they were. in early 2021,” said CoreLogic Research Director Tim Lawless.

He expects house price growth to slow this year due to several factors.

“Less government stimulus, worsening affordability, higher fixed-term mortgage rates and, most recently, a slight tightening of credit conditions and an increase in new listings in the last quarter of last year,” said said Mr. Lawless.

ANZ chief economist Adelaide Timbrell said there was a growing risk that the resurgence in lending would continue in the first half of 2022 as low unemployment rates and likely higher savings rates during borrowings from Omicron back.

“If lending continues at this rate, APRA may consider other measures to slow it down,” she said.

Continuing a trend seen in recent months, January’s results showed greater diversity, with house prices in Brisbane up 2.3% and Adelaide up 2.2%, while Sydney rose 0, 6% and Melbourne by just 0.2%.

Regional markets again posted a much stronger showing for home values, with the combined regional index rising 1.8% during the month.

Like the capitals, it was regional Queensland up 2.0% and regional South Australia up 2.1% that led the pace of growth in the month.

NATIONAL CORELOGIC HOME VALUE INDEX FOR JANUARY

(monthly, yearly)

National – up 1.1%, up 22.4%

Sydney – up 0.06%, up 25.5%

Melbourne – up 0.2%, up 14.9%

Brisbane – up 2.3%, up 29.2%

Adelaide – up 2.2%, up 24.8%

Perth – up 0.6%, up 11.2%

Hobart – up 1.2%, up 27.6%

Darwin – up 0.5%, up 12.6%

Canberra – up 1.7%, up 25.5%

Combined capitals – up 0.8%, up 21.3%

Combined Regional – up 1.8%, up 26.1%