Housing construction just might get underway quickly enough to keep Australia on the growth path. Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance figures for April out this morning show the total trend value of dwelling commitments excluding alterations and additions increased 2.6% in April 2009 compared with March and the seasonally adjusted series increased 3.6%. There was further good news in that investment housing commitments rose as well as commitments for owner occupied housing.
In original terms, the number of first home buyer commitments as a percentage of total owner occupied housing finance commitments increased from 27.3% in March 2009 to 28.0% in April 2009. This is the highest proportion recorded since the series commenced in 1991. Between March and April 2009, the average loan size for first home buyers fell $2,500 to $283,400, the second highest average value in the series. This is in contrast to the average loan size for all owner occupied housing commitments which rose $1,500 to $264,700 for the same period.