Lending dipped in June yet remains at record-breaking highs, according to data released this week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
The latest figures show that the value of new housing loans fell 1.6% in June 2021 (seasonally adjusted) but remained at a historically elevated level of $32.1 billion.
The value of new loans for owner-occupied housing fell 2.5% in June 2021. While this was the largest fall since May 2020, owner-occupier lending remains 76% higher compared to a year ago and 64% higher than pre-COVID levels in February 2020.
The largest contributor was a fall of 17% in the value of loans to build new homes. In addition to this, there was no growth in lending for the purchase of existing homes.
ABS head of Finance and Wealth Katherine Keenan said that the drop in lending followed a period of rapid growth between July 2020 to February 2021 in which the value of loans rose by 150%.
“This strength continued to unwind after the reduction in January of the HomeBuilder grant and its subsequent closing in April”, she added.
The value of owner-occupier loans fell in Victoria (down by 5.8%), New South Wales (3.2%), South Australia (2.3%), Western Australia (6.9%), Tasmania (1.8%) and the Northern Territory (14.9%). Lending rose 1.8% in Queensland and 7.4% in the Australian Capital Territory.
Investors continue to pick up, with the value of lending to that sector rising 0.7% in June, after a jump of 13.3% in the previous month.
First home buyers, on the other hand, fell for the second consecutive month, to be down 7.8% in June. The level of commitments remains elevated however, similar to that seen in November 2020.