First homebuyer numbers rise after reporting error found


First homebuyer numbers rise after reporting error found

Posted on Wednesday, February 04 2015 at 4:51 PM

Prepare to see an upswing in first time buyer data – but not for reasons you might think.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has confirmed an inaccuracy in the
reporting of first homebuyer numbers that’s impacted its analysis.

ABS says an investigation revealed some lenders weren’t including first
homebuyers in their reports if they weren’t receiving the First Home Owners Grant

FHOG is a one-off grant for first homeowners introduced in July 2000.

State and Territory
governments have progressively restricted the FHOG to new homebuyers only.

Those purchasing
established property were no longer eligible and had been excluded from
financial institution reports. 

Hodge, an ABS spokesperson, admits the underreporting has impacted their analysis.

“The ABS has published first homebuyer loan figures since the early 1990s
and initially we thought the fall off in first homebuyer loans over the last
two years was due to reduced affordability arising from changes in grants,
rising house prices, increased investment housing loan activity and general
economic conditions.

“However, subsequent analysis and follow-up with
lenders has confirmed that the drop was partly due to under-reporting by some

The ABS estimates the number
of loans to first homebuyers currently being reported is approximately 80 per
cent of the total number of loans to first homebuyers.

The ABS is now working with lenders to ensure
more accurate reporting.

The graph below
illustrates the impact of the adjustments to previously published estimates.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

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