Australia July home loans jump sharply as mobility restrictions eased

FILE PHOTO: A tradesman works on the roof of a house under construction at a housing development located in the western Sydney suburb of Oran Park in Australia, October 21, 2017. Picture taken October 21, 2017. REUTERS/David Gray

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s owner-occupied home loan commitments surged by the largest in a year in July as the coronavirus-induced social distancing restrictions eased in most states and territories, data showed on Wednesday.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed the value of new loans for owner-occupier housing jumped 10.7% in July from June, while investor housing climbed 3.5%.

Australia largely curbed the spread of the novel coronavirus in May and opened its economy earlier than expected, reviving housing inspections and sales. The country’s second-most populous state of Victoria relapsed into a lockdown last month, battling a second wave.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Tom Hogue