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Financial News: Australia's Housing Credit Growth Likely To Slow Further

Australia's Housing Credit Growth Likely To Slow Further

11/03/2017 - 07:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - Australia's housing credit growth is likely to slow further in response to the recent tightening of lending standards and out of cycle interest rate rises by commercial banks, Andrew Hanlan, an economist at Westpac Institutional Bank, said.

Total credit to the private sector climbed 0.3 percent monthly in September, slower than August's 0.5 percent increase, data from the Reserve Bank of Australia showed on October 31.

The softer monthly outcome was due to a consolidation in business credit, which rose only 0.1 percent in September after increasing strongly in the previous five months, the economist observed.

Housing credit continued to grow at a slower pace in September, with an increase of 0.48 percent following a 0.52 percent gain in August.

On an annual basis, total credit grew at a steady rate of 5.4 percent in September.

Growth in housing credit accelerated slightly to 6.6 percent in September from 6.4 percent last year. Similarly, annual business credit growth moderated to 4.3 percent from 4.8 percent.

Over the past three months, housing credit grew at a 6.2 percent annualized pace, moderating from a peak of 6.8 percent in March.

"This takes the pulse back to around the levels prevailing ahead of the RBA rate cuts in 2016." the economist noted.

More generous state government first home buyer initiatives, in effect from July, could partially offset the possible slowdown in the housing credit growth, Hanlan said.

Total value of housing finance largely stalled since the start of this year, growing only 2.0 percent compared with a 15.0 percent surge in the prior year.

"While month to month volatility is likely, we expect an emerging downtrend to be evident over coming months," the economist added.

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