June bounce led by units
BUILDING approvals bounced in June, led by a spike in approvals for apartment blocks, but economists say housing construction continues to gradually decline. Approvals for new homes jumped 10.9 per cent in June, well above the one per cent the market expected.
Approvals for “other dwellings”, which includes apartment blocks and townhouses, surged 20 per cent, and approvals for private sector houses rose 3.4 per cent. June’s growth in approvals follows significant falls in recent months and points to a gradual decline in housing construction, Commonwealth Bank senior economist Gareth Aird said.
Over the year to June, apartments and townhouses were down 6.6 per cent and houses up 1.4 per cent. GENWORTH Mortgage Insurance says delinquencies are on the rise in Queensland and Western Australia due to a slowdown in the resources sector. The company’s net profit in the six months to June dropped 35 per cent to $ 88.7 million, with chief executive Georgette Nicholas partly blaming rising mortgage delinquencies in mining regions.
NSW and Victoria continue to perform strongly.
Genworth shares were lifted by a company announcement of a buyback of up to $ 100 million of its shares, which represents 6.5 per cent of the company’s issued share capital.
Ms Nicholas said the company expected its gross written premium in 2017 to be lower than in 2016, and net- earned premium to fall by up to 15 per cent.