The number of loans for the construction of a new dwelling rose for the seventh consecutive month to reach a new record in January, according to recent data from Housing Industry Association (HIA).
HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said confidence in the housing market has been improving since the announcement of HomeBuilder in June 2020.
“The increase in lending in January coincides with the surge that was seen in HIA’s New Home Sales in December,” Ms Lillicrap explained.
“Households rushed to finalise contracts to build a new home before the end of the December 31, 2020 deadline to access the $25,000 grant.
“The number of construction loans to owner occupiers in the three months to January 2021 is 45.8 per cent higher than the previous quarter and is more than double the same time the previous year.”
Ms Lillicrap said households had changed their spending habits in response to the COVID-19 interruptions.
“Many have diverted funds that would have typically been spent on travel and entertainment into improving their homes,” she said.
“Lending for renovations also continue to be elevated; the value of loans for alterations and additions in the three month to January 2021 is 40.8 per cent higher than the same time the previous year.”
She said investors were also returning but were more active in the market for established dwellings.
“The value of lending to investors increased by 17.6 per cent in the three months to January 2021 from the previous quarter.
“Low interest rates, rising house prices, higher savings and a demographic shift in demand towards detached housing and regional areas should ensure ongoing demand for new homes into 021.”