For the first time in six months, the portion of Australian housing loans in arrears has increased for prime and non-conforming residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

According to the Standard & Poor’s Performance Index (SPIN), arrears levels for prime RMBS rose to 0.92 per cent during November from 0.88 per cent in October, while non-conforming RMBS levels increased to 4.22 per cent from 3.95 per cent on the month prior.

Narelle Coneybeare, credit analyst at S&P, said overall arrears levels remain historically low, but she expects some increases in coming months, particularly due to seasonal factors.

“The total current loan balance for the prime and non-conforming sectors declined during November, which could have contributed to the month’s arrears movement,” she noted.

Meanwhile, demand for home loans grew stronger in November, according to new figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The housing finance data revealed that 56,798 home loans were approved over the month – an increase of 1.8 per cent from October despite prior forecasts of a 0.5 per cent decline.

[Related: Investors warned as property market turns]

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