March Bounceback

Home loans bounced back in March after a horror February decline, in some positive news for not only lenders but the economy in general. Home loans rose 0.3 per cent in March after a 2.5 per cent decline in February. Economists had predicted a two per cent fall, so it’s certainly a surprise result. Auction clearance rates also perked up over March, and on one weekend, Melbourne’s auction clearance rate was a healthy 63 per cent.

In March, the number of first-home buyer loans as a share of the total owner-occupied home loans dropped to 16.4 per cent from 17.2 per cent in February. “It’s an okay result,” said JP Morgan’s Ben Jarman. “It’s telling us things weren’t too weak going into the RBA’s 50 basis cut, which they delivered a couple of weeks ago.” Banks passed on the majority of the RBA’s rate reduction, which also assisted in the boost.

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