Housing figures showing signs of Qld recovery: MBA
THE October 2012 Housing Finance figures released Monday provide good news and confirmation of an emerging recovery in Queensland, according to Queensland's peak body for housing and construction.
Master Builders Director of Housing Policy, Paul Bidwell, said at a Queensland level the number of finance commitments for owner occupied housing rose by 1.3% from 8,729 in September 2012 to 8,840 in October 2012 (seasonally adjusted).
"This is the third month in a row that finance commitments have risen in Queensland, which we believe is a good sign that recovery in the housing sector has commenced," Mr Bidwell said.
"This is an improvement we expected given the reasonably strong economic fundamentals, such as employment and population growth, and three interest rate cuts in May, June and December.
"The rise in commitments also bodes well for a subsequent recovery in building approvals, which we're anticipating during the first half of 2013.
"What is of particular interest in these latest figures is the proportion of first home buyers, which increased to 22% in October, which is above the ten-year average of 18%.
"We believe this result is a combination of first home buyers taking advantage of the new $15,000 First Home Owner Construction Grant, which commenced in September, as well as the phasing out in October of the $7,000 grant for established homes.
"Consumer confidence remains a major hurdle for the building industry, however we hope the latest figures demonstrate an improvement in consumer confidence that will translate into building activity in the coming months."