People looking to purchase a home may find that there are “very good buying opportunities” to be found in the current market, according to a Housing Industry Association (HIA) senior economist.

Andrew Harvey remarked that as residential building levels have “dropped off”, there has been increased competition among builders – resulting in a favourable market for prospective buyers.

“Housing affordability has improved over recent quarters and the combination of a competitive building market, less pressure on skilled trades and steady interest rates combine to mean that if you’re in a financially sound position to do so, now looks like a good time to build a new home,” he said.

Harvey made his remarks following the publication of the latest HIA figures showing a slight improvement in residential building approvals.

In July, seasonally-adjusted building approvals rose by one per cent – although figures are still 6.4 per cent lower over the quarter. Meanwhile, approvals for detached homes decreased by 4.1 per cent in the three months to July 2011.

Harvey estimates that the Reserve Bank of Australia is likely to keep rates steady for some time – or even decrease the current 4.75 per cent figure that has been in place since November last year.

Prospective buyers may wish to speak to a knowledgeable mortgage broker about the best products to suit their unique circumstances if they plan to purchase a new property.


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