The volume of housing finance commitments to owner occupiers increased for the eighth consecutive month in November, up 1.4% over the month and 4.6% over the year.
Of course, from a housing market perspective it is important to separate owner occupier commitments for refinances and non-refinances. Refinances create business for banks and mortgage brokers whereas for real estate agents and those in the construction industry non-refinance commitments are most important.
Housing finance commitments, exluding re-fi’s to owner occupiers, increased by 2.5% over the month and it was the seventh time in the last eight months commitments increased. Refinance commitments on the other hand fell for the second month in a row, down 2.5% over the month. It would appear that the surge in refinance activity that has occurred since the middle of 2010 is now abating. Over the year, non-refinance commitments have increased by just 1.0% while refinances are 12.5% higher.