Floods hit home loans but economists predict rebound
FLOODING in Queensland led to a fall in the number of home l oan approvals i n January although economists expect a pick up during the rebuilding phase.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported yesterday that home loans approved nationally in January fell by 4.5 per cent to a seasonally adjusted 48,871.
Economists’ forecasts had centred on a .5 per cent rise in housing finance commitments for the month.
Within the total, floodr avaged Queenslandre - corded a drop of 16.4 per cent to the lowest level just one month short of a decade.
Excluding Queensland, the total number of home loans approved in December was down by .7 per cent in January after a marginally larger increase in December.
Senior economist Adam Carr said it was clear recent flooding in Queensland had dampened the overall numbers, although he expected a rebound in the near term.
‘‘ You’d have to think, going forward, that loans are going to increase,’’ Mr Carr said.
‘‘ There’s a big rebuild under way in Queensland and obviously that’s going to flow through to lending numbers.’’ He did not expect the numbers to change forecasts of future cash rate rises by the Reserve Bank.