Tuesday, a report released by the Housing Industry Association revealed that the total housing loans in Australia increased for the sixth consecutive month in March, helped by an increase in the lending for new dwellings for the seventh consecutive month. The number of loans also increased in all regions and territories, the HIA said.

According to the HIA's chief economist Harley Dale, the tripling of the First Home Owner Grant for new dwellings had clearly worked, with the new home lending rising 18.6% in the first quarter. The consequences of this policy have been more construction activity, jobs, and demand in the manufacturing and retail sectors in the first half of 2009 than would otherwise have been the case, Dale said.

The total number of loans for owner-occupiers increased by 2.8% month-on-month and 4.9% on a yearly basis in March. However, lending for investment in new residential construction declined for the 13th consecutive month in March, which was bad for the already tight rental markets, the HIA said.

Meanwhile, number of loans for the first homebuyers grew 47% year-on-year in the first quarter, while the number of loans for non-first homebuyers fell 16%.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com