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Minister welcomes housing loans figures

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The Minister for Environment, Housing and Community Development, Mr Ray Groom, today welcomed official figures for August showing buoyant levels of lending for housing by banks and permanent building societies.

The figures, just released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, show that in seasonally adjusted terms, loan approvals by savings banks continued to grow in August. Approvals for home loans by trading banks and permanent building societies were . similar to the high levels recorded in June and July.

Mr Groom said that in the three month period to August, the total number of loans approved for housing by banks and permanent building societies was 9 per cent higher in seasonally adjusted terms than total approvals in the three months to May.

"These figures are most encouraging", Mr Groom said. / ■

"In August, the seasonally adjusted value of savings bank approvals for housing has set a record."

Mr Groom said the Government's Budget decision to reduce the prescribed asset ratio of the savings banks from.45 per cent to 40 per cent would give them scope to increase their lending . as the year progressed.

"This measure, coupled with the Government encouraging banks . . and. building societies to lend to the maximum extent for housing should, lead to a further increase in the availability of housing finance" Mr Groom said.

. The - steps to improve the lending situation reflected the Government's concern for home ownership and the health of the . housing industry.

"I believe prospects for home 1978/79 are looking brighter", he said. ·

Canberra .

16 October 1978 -