Housing loan commitments partially recover in May

4 July 2022

The value of new housing loan commitments rose 1.7 per cent to $32.4 billion in May 2022 (seasonally adjusted), according to data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Katherine Keenan, ABS head of Finance and Wealth, said: “The rise in May followed a revised fall of 2.8 per cent in April, when the proximity of Easter and ANZAC day public holidays reduced the processing of loan applications. Key lenders attributed the rise in May to a clearing of processing backlogs.

“The value of new owner-occupier housing loan commitments rose 2.1 per cent, contributing 82 per cent of the rise in total lending. Investor loan commitments rose 0.9 per cent.”

The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments rose across most states and territories, the largest being Victoria (up 6.1 per cent), Queensland (up 2.5 per cent) and South Australia (up 2.8 per cent). Western Australia fell 3.3 per cent and the Northern Territory fell 7.3 per cent.

The number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers rose 2.3 per cent in May 2022. This was 31.6 per cent lower compared to the same time last year. However, new loan commitments to owner-occupier first-home buyers remained 6.9 per cent higher than February 2020 levels, prior to pandemic stimulus. The number of loan commitments fell in Western Australia (down 2.4 per cent), Queensland (down 0.5 per cent) and South Australia (down 1.5 per cent).

The 0.9 per cent rise in the value of new investor loan commitments was driven by New South Wales (up 3.1 per cent) and Victoria (up 2.8 per cent). The largest fall was in Queensland (down 4.0 per cent), which was 20.5 per cent lower than its all-time high in March 2022 but remained 131.5 per cent higher than February 2020 levels.

Personal finance loan commitments

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 5.1 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in May 2022, driven by a 10.2 per cent rise in lending for personal investment, as well as a 3.2 per cent rise in lending for the purchase of road vehicles. Lending for travel rose 11.4 per cent, though it remained 20.4 per cent lower than pre-pandemic levels.