Lending continues to seesaw from owners to investors, with investors on the rise again, new data shows.
Figures released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the value of new loans for housing fell 1.4% in September 2021 (seasonally adjusted), driven by a 2.7% fall in new owner-occupier lending.
ABS head of Finance and Wealth Katherine Keenan says that the fall needs to be put into perspective.
“The value of new loan commitments for owner-occupier housing fell for the fourth month in a row, to $20.7b in September”, she said.
“However, this was 21% higher compared to a year ago and 49% higher than pre-COVID levels in February 2020.”
Victoria had the largest drop in the value of owner-occupier commitments, falling 12.7%. Tasmania and the Northern Territory also fell, however increases were seen in all the other states. Western Australia rose 6.1%, while South Australia rose 4.1%. New South Wales, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory also increased.
The average loan size for owner-occupier homes (construction, purchase of new dwellings and existing dwellings) rose slightly at the national level and across most states. New South Wales recorded the largest rise, reaching a record high of $750k.
As in recent months, the value of new loans for investment housing rose (1.4%) in contrast to falls in lending to owner-occupiers. This continues a run of unbroken growth since October 2020. The value of these commitments was 83% higher compared to a year ago and was close to the series’ all-time high in April 2015.
Increased investor lending was seen across most states, with particular strength in Queensland (up 4.2%), South Australia (up 16.4%) and Western Australia (up 7.3%). Smaller rises were seen in Victoria (up 1.4), New South Wales (up 0.1%), the Australian Capital Territory (up 1.0%) and Tasmania (up 1.4%). The Northern Territory was the only state to fall (down 29.0%), though this followed a sharp rise last month, which is typical for this small, volatile series.
The number of new loans to first home buyers saw its eighth consecutive fall, down 5.6% in September 2021 (seasonally adjusted). The number of loan commitments was 11.4% lower compared to September 2020.