Housing finance has grown despite global financial crisis, RBA says

The global financial crisis has not hindered the flow of housing credit to customers, the Reserve Bank (RBA) has said.

In a speech to the Mortgage Innovation Forum in Sydney, RBA assistant governor of financial markets Guy Debelle acknowledged that the crisis had resulted in higher home loan costs and tighter lending standards, but added that housing credit had grown by about eight per cent a year during the period.

Dr Debelle said the higher costs of funding housing loans had not been fully passed on to borrowers, noting that the average rate on variable rate home loans had increased by around 110 basis points when compared to the cash rate since mid-2007.

"This increase, relative to the cash rate, is below the estimated 130 to 140 basis point rise in banks overall funding costs over this period," he added.

According to the assistant governor, home loan rates have remained below funding costs because of strong competition in the market which has encouraged Australians to compare home loans in search of the best deals.

This week, the Australian reported that a record number of homes were listed and sold at auctions in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide at the weekend.

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