Signs of life were detectable in housing finance figures released on Monday, although they were still faint.
The number of loans to home buyers rose by 1.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in August, the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said.
That followed a fall of 0.7 per cent in July.
The average for July and August was only 0.1 per cent higher above June level, so the rise in August may turn out to be little more than the month-to-month volatility that comes as a standard feature of this data series.
But the trend is positive, according to the bureau's formula, rising by 0.4 per cent a month.
And August was the 17th month in a row that the number of home loan approvals, was higher than the corresponding month a year earlier.
For the beleaguered home-building industry there was some hope offered by the 4.1 per cent rise in the number of loans to intending owner-occupiers for new and to-be-built homes.
The rise took loans for new owner-occupied homes to a 29-month high in August.
Such glimmers of encouragement were not so obvious in lending to investors, which fell in dollar terms by 0.8 per cent in August, bending the trend measure downwards so it is now heading lower by 0.5 per cent per month.
Overall, lending approvals for housing including both investor and home-buyer loans is on a barely positive trend, rising by 0.2 per cent monthly by the bureau's measure.
But the figures were for August.
The effect of the May and June interest rate cuts would only just have begun to take hold, and the subsequent cut in October was yet to come.
So there is good reason to expect that the very mild upward trend in lending and the tentative signs of increased demand for new homes will become better established over the second half of the year.