Home loan approvals fall in January

The number of Aussies securing home loans declined for the first time in ten months in January 2012, new figures have confirmed.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the amount of mortgages being dished out by banks and lenders dropped by 1.2 per cent to 47,768 during the month.

This is despite two interest rate cuts being sanctioned by the Reserve Bank of Australia in November and December, with the cash rate now standing at 4.25 per cent.

However, it seems that this has failed to stimulate extra interest among potential house hunters and the fact that the four major banks all raised the interest rates on their home loans last month may see another decline in mortgage uptake when figures for February are eventually released.

Speaking to the Australian Associated Press, senior economist at the Commonwealth Bank Michael Workman agreed that last year's rate cuts have yet to have a significant impact on the market.

"In a general sense, we're still looking at a very gradual pick-up in lending into the housing market as a result of the interest rate cuts, but it's quite slow," he was quoted as saying.

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