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New home lending is off to a solid start

ByBrett Pilgrim

It's a largely positive start to 2015 for the construction of property in Adelaide, with the Housing Industry Association (HIA) revealing that new home building approvals across Australia reached their highest ever monthly level during November 2014 – a good signal that new home building activity is set to remain at a strong level leading into the new year.

Recent data from the Australia Bureau of Statistics show that while the number of approvals for new home construction or purpose decreased by 1.4 percent over November, they were 4.6 per cent higher than lending figures for the same month in 2013. Indeed, figures nation-wide were almost 3 per cent higher than the previous record set in August 1994, totaling an impressive 18,245 loans distributed during November.

HIA analysis shows that the number of home loans for dwelling purchase fell 1.5 per cent in November, with the total number of home loans having depreciated 5.5 per cent. This could spell a cautious year for the housing market throughout 2015 – however, HIA senior economist Shane Garret notes that the number of home loans for new construction has remained solid.

"The number of new home construction loans in November was 7.6 per cent higher than a year ago," he said.

According to ABS data, the number of new private sector housing construction rose 2.9 per cent in the September 2014. South Australia fared well in the last quarter of 2014, being amongst the states which recorded increases in the total number of owner occupier loans for new housing. Compared with the same month in 2013, ABS data shows that the strongest appreciation was found in the Northern Territory (rising 63.9 per cent) and in Tasmania (14.3 per cent), but spikes were also apparent in Victoria (3.3 per cent), Queensland (1.6 per cent), and South Australia (1.7 per cent). 

However, in a recent release, HIA Executive Director for South Australia Robert Harding said more could be done to facilitate continued construction.

"State-level policy makers, however, cannot rely solely on super-low lending rates to do the heavy lifting but must address the key constraints on the residential construction sector, starting with notoriously heavy and inefficient taxes on housing," he said.

However gradual, the affordability and consistency of the Adelaide market is a draw card. There are still clear opportunities to invest in the new construction of real estate in Adelaide, particularly in multi-unit properties, so have a talk with your real estate agent to find out more. 

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