Demand for housing finance 'has declined'

The dip in demand for home loans has highlighted the fragility of the country's residential real estate market at present and some experts are raising concerns as to whether houses across Australia are now too expensive.

According to the Australian, recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the take-up of finance has slowed as a result of higher home loan interest rates, a strong dollar and the end of a scheme that saw a grant given to first-time buyers looking to compare home loans.

As a result, individual investors looking to buy property to rent out have warned they may be better off saving their money, as while rents have climbed in recent years, they have not tracked house price increases.

Real estate specialist Anthony Street warned in a paper presented yesterday (April 11th) that "many investors [will] fail to generate a positive return" if house prices return to normal levels in the future, as current gross rental yields are below five per cent and mortgage rates are exceeding seven per cent.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, figures from Roy Morgan Research show recent rises to rates relating to mortgages has resulted in increased dissatisfaction among consumers.

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