Housing loan commitments stay below peak with 1.6% rise

The value of new housing loan commitments rose 1.6 per cent to $33.3 billion in March 2022 (seasonally adjusted). This followed a fall of 3.5 per cent in February, after reaching a record high of $33.9 billion in January, according to data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Amanda Seneviratne, said: “The value of new investor loan commitments reached a record high of $11.7 billion in March and was the key contributor to the rise in the value of new housing loan commitments”.

With the exception of February 2022, the value of investor loan commitments has had monthly increases since November 2020. In March, increases were reported for all states and territories with high proportional increases in Queensland (6.7%), South Australia (8.5%), Western Australia (5.9%), the Australian Capital territory (14.9%) and the Northern Territory (32.4%).

“After falling 4.7 per cent in February, the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments rose 0.9 per cent to $21.6 billion in March, 2.2 per cent lower than the same time last year”, Ms Seneviratne said.

Rises in the value of owner-occupier loan commitments were reported in all states and territories. The value of owner-occupier loan commitments rose for the purchase of existing dwellings, purchase of newly erected dwellings and for alterations and additions while commitments for the construction of new dwellings fell.

“Following falls in January and February, the number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers rose 4.2 per cent (417) in March but was 32.8 per cent lower than the near record high a year ago. Reduced first home buyer lending over the past year partly reflects an unwinding of COVID-19 related incentives such as HomeBuilder”, Ms Seneviratne said.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance fell 0.4 per cent (-$10 million), ending consecutive monthly rises from September 2021. This was driven by a 2.2 per cent fall in commitments for the purchase of road vehicles (-$29 million).


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