ABS data shows housing still struggling to recover

THE number of housing loans approved across the country fell 0.1% in December, while the values of loans approved rose 0.4%, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed today.

Nationally, the latest ABS housing finance data showed investment housing commitments rose 1.3% in December, while new loans to owner-occupiers fell 0.1%.

Trend figures for the number of commitments by owner-occupiers also fell 0.1%, with the same number for housing starts fell 1.1% and loans to buy existing dwellings fell 0.1%.

In trend terms, the number of first home buyers signing on to a loan fell to 14.9% of all owner-occupied commitments, down from 15.8% in November.