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Tuesday, 14 May 1957


Mr Ward d asked the Minister representing the Minister for National Development, upon notice -

1.   Did advances made by the trading banks in the form of housing loans fall by approximately £18,500,000 during the eighteen months ended 31st December, 1956?

2.   Has this fall in the volume of finance available for home building meant a reduction of some 5,000 to 6,000 in the number of dwellings constructed in Australia during this period?

3.   Has the Prime Minister stated that the trading banks are not favouring loans for housing purposes because they can secure a higher return from other types of investment?

4.   If so, is the action of the private banks regarded as being against the public interest?

5.   What action did the Government take to see that the fall in bank advances for home building was made good from other sources so that the construction of dwellings so urgently needed could have proceeded unhindered by lack of finance?


Mr Beale - The Minister for National Development has furnished the following replies: -

1.   Figures published by the Acting Statistician show that outstanding advances by the major trading banks to individuals for building or purchasing their own homes amounted to £105,676,000 at 30th June, 1955, and £87,161,000 at 31st December, 1956.

2.   This does not necessarily follow because the figures quoted are the totals of the advances made by the banks which remain unpaid at the relevant dates. These figures do not state the amount of new lending during the period, nor do they show the proportion lent to build new houses and the proportion to purchase houses already built.

Statistics are not available to show the number or amount of new advances made by the trading banks during the eighteen months period in question, whether to purchase a house already built or to build a house. 3 and 4. The honorable member is referred to statements by the Prime Minister to the House in the course of his speech on 20th March, 1957, recorded in " Hansard " of that day.

5.   The Government's policy in respect of housing finance has been fully debated in Parliament during the current session. As far as bank lending for housing purposes is concerned the Commonwealth Bank has advised that the number of loans approved by the major trading banks for the financing of new houses has recently risen and that the amount of finance provided by the private savings banks for financing new houses has also been increasing.







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