Australian home-loan approvals fell in February for a fifth straight month after central bank Governor Glenn Stevens boosted borrowing costs and the government cut grants to first-time buyers.
The number of loans granted to build or buy houses and apartments dropped 1.8% to 50,287 from January, when they declined a revised 7.3%, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. The median estimate of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News was for a fall of 1%.
Waning demand for approvals adds to evidence that Governor Stevens’ decision to boost the benchmark interest rate five times in six meetings is cooling domestic demand. Policy makers are moving borrowing costs to “something around average levels, which is not far from where we are now,” Assistant Governor Guy Debelle said today.