Lending finance edges up

Real Estate

Lending finance figures were up in June but home loan standards remain tight post the Global Financial Crisis [GFC]. ANZ Banking Group (ASX:ANZ) advised its standard variable interest rates would remain unchanged at 6.8 per cent in August, due to higher funding costs.

Real estate industry figures
The Australian Bureau of Statistics has reported lending finance figures up for June. Personal finance loans were up 1.9 per cent from May. Total commercial loans also rose 2.3 per cent. Housing finance for owner occupation lifted 1.2 per cent from the month before.
Loans worth 100 per cent of a property’s value is a thing of the past, according to financial comparison site RateCity. In 2008 when the GFC began, 26 per cent of home loans tracked by RateCity were offering 100 per cent loan facilities. The Reserve Bank of Australia now estimates a median owner with debt has a loan that accounts for only 40-50 per cent of the property’s value. 
FNN recently spoke with the Minister for Finance and Deregulation Penny Wong, about her views on the state of the Australian housing market. 

To watch the full interview click here
Residential property market

Australian Property Monitors has posted the results of auction clearance rates across Australia’s capital cities at the weekend. Sydney was slightly down from last week recording a 59 per cent clearance rate from 239 properties for auction, Melbourne also marginally down with a 53 per cent clearance rate from 185 properties, Brisbane 35 per cent from 36 properties and Adelaide cleared 54 per cent from 24 reported auctions. 
Commercial property sector
Pacific Brands Limited (ASX:PBG) will sell surplus land in Western Sydney for $27 million. The clothing, footwear and bedding manufacturer has entered into a binding agreement to sell an eight-hectare block at Wentworthville. The company commenced a transformation program three years ago that included the sale of surplus properties.
Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) is in confidential negotiations with AMP Limited (ASX:AMP) about a proposed asset reallocation. Although no binding agreements have been made, media reports suggest a property swap could occur ending the 50-year partnership.  At least six shopping centres could see a change in management should the joint venture unwind.
Crown Limited (ASX:CWN) is planning to offer subordinated notes to raise $400 million to support its growth plans and premium commercial developments. The casino operator recently inked an exclusive deal with Lend Lease Group (ASX:LLC) to develop a six star hotel resort at Barangaroo South. Crown reported a 53 per cent rise in its full year net profit last week which was boosted by its Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture in Macau.
Full year results
UGL Limited’s (ASX:UGL) net profit fell 15 per cent to $134.3 million in the year to June but saw a two per cent rise in its underlying net profit. UGL expects global economic uncertainty to remain challenging into the 2013 financial year but says stronger growth will return when conditions stabilise.
Goodman Group (ASX:GMG) has posted a 21 per cent increase in its fiscal 2012 operating profit and forecast 6 per cent growth for the year ahead. The property investor also today announced an $US890 million partnership with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board to target investment in logistics and industrial property in North America. 
AV Jennings Limited (ASX:AVJ) has reported a full year net loss of $29 million amid waning consumer sentiment and tough market conditions, the result was in line with its latest guidance. The residential developer’s short-term outlook remained uncertain. AV Jennings CEO provided a long-term projection for Australia’s housing market, "The current and forecast trends for immigration and population growth are strengthening and the shortage of supply in many areas of Australia will underpin long-term demand".