Finance figures point to improvement

CENTURY 21 Marsden Realty believe that improved housing finance figures in March 2012 could point to a strengthening of Australia's residential real estate market.

"Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that the total number of dwelling commitments increased by a seasonally adjusted 4.5 per cent in March," said co-principal Geoffrey Jordan.

"These figures are pleasing to see and likely reflect the fact that many buyers were responsive to the Reserve Bank of Australia's rate cuts in October and December of last year.

"Century 21 believes this trend may continue after the Reserve Bank's latest decision to cut the official cash rate to 2.75%."

The ABS' data shows that on a national basis, the seasonally adjusted number of owner occupied housing commitments increased by 5.2% over March, while the value of investment housing commitments rose 2.1%.

The ABS also reported a 1.1% increase in the seasonally adjusted number of mortgages that were refinanced by owner occupiers in March.

"The refinancing figures are positive, as they may indicate that more mortgage holders are proactively taking advantage of rate cuts and seeking out the best lenders," he said.

"Such figures may also be a positive sign for future value growth within the Australian property market."



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