Home lending remains at historic highs, with new data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showing another rise in March.
The value of new housing loans rose 1.6% to $33.3 billion in March 2022 (seasonally adjusted). This followed a fall of 3.5% in February, after reaching a record high of $33.9 billion in January.
ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Amanda Seneviratne, noted that lending to investors was a major contributor to the rise.
“The value of new investor loan commitments reached a record high of $11.7 billion in March”, Seneviratne said, adding that with the exception of February 2022, the value of investor loans has increased every month since November 2020.
In March, increases were reported for all states and territories with high proportional lifts in Queensland (6.7%), South Australia (8.5%), Western Australia (5.9%), the Australian Capital Territory (14.9%) and the Northern Territory (32.4%).
“After falling 4.7% in February, the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments rose 0.9% to $21.6 billion in March, 2.2% lower than the same time last year”, Seneviratne said.
Lifts in the value of owner-occupier lending were reported in all states and territories. Loans rose for the purchase of existing or newly-built homes and for alterations and additions, but fell for the construction of new homes.
First home buyers continue to strengthen, with loans to that sector rising 4.2% in March following falls in January and February. This figure, however, is 32.8% lower than the near record high a year ago, which Seneviratne attributes to the unwinding of COVID-19 related incentives such as HomeBuilder.