Home loan approval rates falling sharply

The number of housing loans approved by banks each week has been dropping sharply, a new experimental Reserve Bank data series shows.

Friday, July 18th 2008, 9:55AM

by Jenny Ruth

The series, first published with little fanfare from a few weeks ago, shows there were 5,993 loans approved worth $663.5 million in the week ended July 11.

The number of approvals was down 27.8% on a year earlier on a 13-week moving average basis while the value of approvals was down an even greater 36.9%.

In the 52 weeks ended July 11, the number of approvals was down 22.4% and their value was down 30.4% on the previous year.

The central bank says seven banks are responding to its new survey and the figures represent more than 99% of lending by registered banks on housing.

The figures for last week showed a slight improvement from mid-June when the number of applications was down 29.6% on a 13-week moving average basis and their value was down 39.8%.

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