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Friday, 1 May 1987
Page: 2206

(Question No. 1701)


Senator Morris asked the Minister representing the Minister for Housing and Construction, upon notice, on 24 March 1987:

(1) What are the most recent figures for housing loan approvals, both by number and by value.

(2) Do these figures indicate that the housing construction industry is exercising price restraint or does the Minister for Housing and Construction believe that excess profit-taking is occurring.


Senator Ryan —The Minister for Housing and Construction has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Lending for Housing By all Significant Lenders Australia-February 1987-

(ABS data, seasonally adjusted)

Number

Total

Value

Average

Value

$

$

24,291

1,140.8m

46,960

The number of housing loan approvals in February 1987 was 21 per cent higher than in February 1986. The average loan size was 19 per cent larger than a year earlier.

(2) Conclusions as to building costs and profit margins by builders cannot be drawn from figures on lending for housing by all significant lenders. The increase in the average size of housing loans reflects the ready availability of housing finance particularly from savings banks. The bulk of lending has been for previously occupied dwellings, and new house construction activity has been subdued. Under conditions of intense competition among builders, I do not believe that excess profit-taking is occurring.