Things may be looking up for the Australian property market
September has seen the release of various data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics that could be suggestive of improving conditions in the Australian residential property market.
In a report regarding approvals for the construction of new dwellings, most important given the large shortage of homes Australia is currently faced with, the ABS released data at the beginning of this month showing that after falls in April, May and June, there was an increase in the total number of dwellings approved in July.
These approval figures saw increases in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania, while Queensland and Tasmania were down.
With similar timing the ABS also released its Australian housing finance data for July at the beginning of the month. These figures showed an increase of 1.7 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in the amount of owner-occupied housing commitments over June 2010.
While these increases in dwelling approvals and housing finance may seem slight, increases they are none the less. 2010 has been an interesting year for residential property in Australia, with some uncertainty regarding the direction of the market.
These findings therefore come as positive news and could suggest that the market is starting to pick up somewhat.
Interestingly, the housing finance data also showed an increase in the number of commitments for the refinancing of established dwellings (up 1.3 per cent). I think it is promising that we may be beginning to see more Australians taking charge of their mortgage options and engaging in the refinancing process.
It has been a topic that I’ve talked about in this blog before – the value that can often lie in the refinancing of a home loan. For many Australians, although their current mortgage was the best product available at the time of commitment, there may now be other options on the market that could be considered as viable alternatives.
I hope to see this refinancing data continue to increase over the coming months as Australians realise that mortgages do not have to be static contracts for the 20 to 25 years that many people hold them for. There is often a better outcome available and I would encourage all mortgage holders to continually seek information.