Tough new regulations are pushing investors out of the housing market and allowing first-home buyers to creep back in, figures show, as home loans to investors fall to their lowest level in more than a year.
Business conditions have also bounced back to pre-global financial crisis levels, hitting a multi-year high in June, according to a National Australia Bank business survey, which predicts another 240,000 jobs will be added to the economy in the next year.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday show home loans to investors as a proportion of all loans dropped to 46 per cent, down from a high of over half of all home loans in January.
House prices went into reverse across the country for the first time in 18 months in May, falling by 1.1 per cent. The latest figures from CoreLogic show capital city prices were still up 10.6 per cent on the same time last year.
The result comes after Treasurer Scott Morrison ordered the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority to slam the brakes on investor lending by restricting interest-only loans to less than 30 per cent of new home loan approvals while also tightening access to high-risk loans.
“What we don’t want is a hard landing,” Mr Morrison told Sky News last week. “We have seen some heat come out of the investor top end of the market. That is what the measures were designed to do.”