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Home loan approval rates at highest level this year

By Stephen McMahon
News Limited Network
October 16, 2012 8:30AM
 
A surge in the number of home loans approved has given the the property market a much-needed boost. Picture: Thinkstock
 
THE property market is showing some signs of moving up the gears as the key spring selling period gather’s pace with home loan approvals registering their biggest rise in almost a year.
Official data shows the number of home loans for owner occupiers approved in August rose 1.8 per cent to 45,821 - its highest level this year.
The surge in borrowing demand after the recent run of interest rate cuts exceeded economists’ forecasts.
Since the start of the year, the Reserve Bank has lowered interest rates by 1 per cent to 3.25 per cent but the banks have withheld passing through the full benefits to borrowers.
The official cash rate is tipped by some economists to drop to a record low of 2.5 per cent by March.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics report shows the value of total housing finance rose 0.6 per cent in August seasonally adjusted, to $20.301 billion.
The biggest rise in the mainland states were in Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia.
In Victoria, the market remains subdued with owner occupiers finance commitment down 1.2 per cent, seasonally adjusted.
Following this month's rate reduction, Westpac has been the meanest of the big four, delivering only an 18-point cut, while the other three passed through the 20-point cut.
National Australia Bank remains the industry leader with its lowest rate 6.58 per cent, while Westpac is the highest at 6.71 per cent. ANZ and CBA are tied on 6.6 per cent.
Only seven lenders out of more than 100 on the RateCity database have passed on the full 25 points.

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