Australia experienced a nationwide increase in the number of housing commitments seen during July, according to the latest data from Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Released early last week (September 9), the data highlighted a growth in the number of housing commitments throughout the nation, which could indicate a returning confidence to the home loan and real estate market.

For example, the value of home commitments in July reached a huge $24,180,000 – a seasonally adjusted increase of 1.1 per cent over the previous month. Furthermore, the number of investment loans taken out in July was 2.9 per cent more than June 2013.

There was a large increase in the number of owner-occupied housing commitments as well, with an increase of 2.4 per cent across July. This highlights the number of people securing their own home loans and property in the long run – especially in the face of predicted large population growth throughout capital cities.

The changes across the last 12 months have also been large. Year-on-year commitments across Australia have increased on all fronts, with commitments to the construction of new dwellings growing by 1.1 per cent. Furthermore, commitments for new dwellings have risen by 52.1 per cent, while existing buildings saw a commitment growth of 17.4 per cent.

However, first home buyer activity has decreased according to the Real Estate Institute of Australia's president Peter Bushby, who said that the State Government's decision to remove support for buying existing dwellings has hurt first home buyers.

According to Mr Bushby, 80 per cent of first home buyers would prefer to purchase an established property rather than a new one.

"The proportion of first home buyers in the number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments fell to 14.7 per cent compared to the June figure of 15.1 per cent. The figure remains persistently low compared to the long-run average proportion of 20.1 per cent despite seven interest rate cuts since November 2011," said Mr Bushby in a September 9 statement.

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