Australian home credit growth 'anaemic'
By Steve Binge

Australian home credit growth 'anaemic'

Credit growth for Australian property has been 'anaemic' going into 2013, according to the Global Property Guide. Figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia have shown that loans acquired to buy homes rose by 0.4 per cent in January, up from 0.3 per cent growth recorded in December. However, compared to the same period in 2012, when loans granted grew by 4.4 per cent, this figure is arguably disappointing.

Slowing growth in the country has been attributed to consumers in Australia holding back spending and borrowing - a trend that has been in place for some time. Consequently, the central bank has decided to freeze rate cuts this month, while benchmark rates will remain at three per cent to keep the balance between the country's domestic growth and the static rate of the Australian dollar, analysts at the Global Property Guide claim.

Paul Bloxham, former RBA board member and chief economist of HSBC Holdings Plc in Sydney, claims that it is "dovish" to keep the dollar from surging too high, while continuing to pursue a rebalancing of GDP growth.

So will freezing rates help to encourage more people to enter the Australian property market? With even the appetite of first-time borrowers remaining subdued, the country may be in for a long wait to recover their pace of growth. RP Data revealed that in 2012, first time buyer numbers are still 17 per cent below the average, despite low interest rates between November and December, the Global Property Guide reported.

Despite this, the Australian property market is expected to remain stable throughout 2013. The latest Fitch Rating report claimed that the country will be one of the only countries that enjoys growth and its mortgage default rate will be among the lowest in the world. Nevertheless, there is little uncertainty about the fact the days of double digit growth have come to an end. There has even been contraction in certain parts of the country, including the Gold Coast. However, for investors, this is likely to mean a new influx of affordable property.
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