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Home loan approvals have lifted for a second straight month, but growth fell slightly short of economists’ expectations.

The number of approvals rose 0.3 per cent in the month, against expectations of a 0.8 per cent lift. The result came after a 4.4 per cent rise in June.

There were 53,095 approvals in July, compared to 52,672 approvals in June, according to seasonally-adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The value of total housing finance rose 1.5 per cent in the month to $32.812 billion.

Loans by owner-occupiers for the construction of new homes dropped 0.9 per cent.

In trend terms, which strip out month-to-month volatility from the figures, the number of home loan approvals dropped marginally, slipping 0.2 per cent during the month.

Meanwhile, the total value of loans approved for property investors grew in July, lifting 0.5 per cent to $13.587bn.

Meanwhile, a leading economist warns Australian property prices could slide if the current surge in home construction continues.

HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham says while an oversupply of housing seems unlikely in the near term, it could be a risk late in 2016 and going into 2017.

“Slowing population growth has begun to raise questions about whether supply could eventually exceed demand, leaving Australia with too many houses,” he said.

“This could affect the house price outlook. It may also make the RBA more cautious about cutting rates further from here, as the costs of cutting further could start to outweigh the benefits.”

Business Spectator, AAP