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Owner-occupier lending falls for 4th month: ABS

by ssimpkins11 minute read
Owner-occupier lending falls for 4th month: ABS

The value of new home loans fell by 1.4 per cent in September, dragged mostly by a 2.7 per cent drop in the owner-occupier segment.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has shown that the value of new housing loans dropped from the month before to $30.3 billion worth in September, but it was still 35.5 per cent higher year-on-year.

New loans for owner-occupiers fell for the fourth month in a row, down to $20.7 billion – although it was still 21 per cent higher than a year prior and 49 per cent higher than pre-COVID levels in February 2020.

Owner-occupier loans for the purchase of newly erected dwellings saw a 6 per cent fall, to $1.3 billion worth, while dwellings construction fell by 5 per cent to $2.3 billion.


Loan for the purchase of existing dwellings was down by 2.4 per cent for owner-occupiers, to $5.4 billion.

In contrast, investor lending grew by 1.4 per cent from the month before to $9.6 billion worth, continuing a run of unbroken growth since October 2020.

The value of loan commitments to the investor segment had surged by 83 per cent higher compared to a year prior and was close to the record high recorded by the ABS in April 2015.

Victoria had the largest fall in owner-occupier lending, down by 12.7 per cent to $5.6 billion worth.

Tasmania and the Northern Territory also fell. The NT saw a 25 per cent fall to $95 million worth, while Tasmania slipped by 2 per cent to $266 million.

Meanwhile the other states climbed – with Western Australia up by 6.1 per cent to $2.1 billion, while South Australia grew by 4.1 per cent to $1.1 billion.

Average loan size for owner-occupier dwellings (construction, purchase of new dwellings and existing dwellings rose slightly at the national level and across most states, with NSW holding the largest rise, reaching a high of $750,000.

Investor loans increased across most states, with Queensland seeing growth of 4.2 per cent to $1.9 billion worth, South Australia being up by 16.4 per cent to $446 million and Western Australia increasing by 7.3 per cent to $569 million.

Smaller rises were seen in Victoria (up 1.4 per cent to $2.5 billion) and the ACT (up 1 per cent to $251 million), while NSW stayed somewhat flat (up 0.1 per cent to $3.7 billion).

The NT was the only state to fall, plunging by 29 per cent to $30 million worth, though it followed a rise in the previous month.

FHBs down for 8th month

Owner-occupier first home buyers on the other hand saw their eighth consecutive fall, down 5.6 per cent in September 2021 to a total of 11,848 loans.

The number of loan commitments was 11.4 per cent lower year-on-year.

Similar to overall owner-occupier lending, the largest fall in the number of first home buyer loan commitments was in Victoria, which fell by 17 per cent to 3,148 loans in total.

NSW saw a decrease of 3.1 per cent to 2,785.

Other states saw rises, such as Western Australia (up 5.9 per cent to 1,885), Queensland (up 2.1 per cent to 2,583) and South Australia (up 4.3 per cent to 732).


Meanwhile, the value of external refinancing for total housing fell by 9.1 per cent to $16.1 billion worth, after rising for five consecutive months.

For owner-occupiers, it was down by 9.6 per cent to $10.1 billion, contributing to two-thirds of the total fall in refinancing.

Investor refinancing on the other hand was down by 8.4 per cent to $5.9 billion.

Meanwhile new loans for fixed term personal finance grew by 0.4 per cent in September to $1.9 billion worth, driven mainly by a 1.9 per cent rise in new loans for road vehicles.

[Related: NSW government sets up new unit to mitigate identity crime]

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Sarah Simpkins is the news editor across Mortgage Business and The Adviser.

Previously, she reported on banking, financial services and wealth management for InvestorDaily and ifa.

You can contact her on [email protected].


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