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Published on August 13th, 2012

REIA pushes for further rate cuts

The Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) has made the case for further interest rate cuts, saying there is little evidence to show there has been a jump in the market, according to one expert.

REIA president Pamela Bennett said the June housing figures, which were released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) earlier this month, show that cuts in May and June have failed to have a significant impact on buyer sentiment.

"In trend terms, increases were recorded in Western Australia, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT. All other states and territories recorded decreases. The largest decrease in New South Wales (down 1.4 per cent in trend terms) while the largest increase was in Tasmania (up 1.9 per cent in trend terms)," Ms Bennett stated.

As if to highlight the somewhat mixed response to interest rate cuts, the construction of new dwellings rose by 0.7 per cent in trend terms over the same period. Commitments for the purchase of new dwellings were also up 2.4 per cent.

These figures may have direct ties to the many new homebuyers who are expressing interest in the nation's housing market.

According to recent ABS figures, the number of first homebuyers as a percentage of owner occupied housing commitments jumped to 18.3 per cent in June this year compared to 17.8 per cent in May.

And while this may not meet the long-run average for this buyer group, which traditionally sits on 20.2 per cent, it is a significant improvement on results from 2011 and even earlier this year.

However, Ms Bennett believes that so far as the national averages are concerned there is still room for improvement, citing the importance of another interest rate cut to the industry as a whole and homebuyers.


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