Owner-occupier lending rose in December

2 February 2022

New loan commitments for housing rose 4.4 per cent to a record high value of $32.8 billion (seasonally adjusted) in December 2021, according to the latest data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Acting head of Finance and Wealth at the ABS, Amanda Seneviratne, said: “December’s rise was driven by a 5.3 per cent rise in the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments.  This is the second consecutive monthly rise in owner-occupier lending and follows the falls seen from June 2021 through to October 2021.”

The strongest rises in owner-occupier loan commitments were Victoria (up 5.2 per cent), New South Wales (up 3.0 per cent) and Western Australia (up 7.1 per cent).

The number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers grew for the second consecutive month, up 1.3 per cent to 11,778. The increase in commitments was driven by Western Australia, which rose 11.8 per cent, and Queensland, which rose 3.8 per cent. New loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers fell 21.5 per cent through the year.

At the national level, the average loan size for owner-occupier dwellings (which includes construction and the purchase of new and existing dwellings) rose to a record high of $602,000, an increase from November of $6,000. Average loan sizes reached new highs in all states and territories except Queensland and Tasmania.

The total value of new investor loan commitments rose 2.4 per cent, a record high of $10.3 billion.

“Investor lending has seen growth over the past 14 months and accounted for around one third of the value of new housing loan commitments in December 2021. The previous investor lending peak in April 2015 accounted for 46 per cent of new housing loan commitments,” Ms Seneviratne said.

The strongest rises in investor loan commitments were Victoria (up 3.4 per cent), New South Wales (up 1.1 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 10.4 per cent). All other states and territories fell.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 0.7 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in December 2021, driven by a 17.4 per cent rise in lending for personal investment.