5609.0 - Housing Finance, Australia, Jul 2016 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/09/2016   
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FIRST HOME BUYERS


FIRST HOME BUYERS

Most data on first home buyers are derived from the ARF 392.0 Housing Finance form collected by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001.

An investigation to evaluate the robustness of estimates of loans to first home buyers found that some lenders experience difficulty reporting on loans where the buyer does not receive a first home owner grant. Users are advised to exercise caution in using these data. Loans to first home buyers are published in Table 9a (Australia) and Table 9b (State) on the downloads tab of this release, and in Table 9 in the PDF.

From the December 2014 issue, estimates of loans to first home buyers have included a modelled adjustment for under-reporting of loans where the buyer did not receive a first home owner grant. The model developed by the ABS for lenders who are under-reporting loans to first home buyers draws on the ratio of first home buyers to total loans for those lenders reporting correctly. This estimation method has been used to produce the first home buyer statistics in this issue.

The ABS has been reviewing the effect of improved reporting on the modelled component of first home buyer statistics over recent months. The quality of data provided by lenders is now of sufficient quality for the ABS to re-evaluate the adjustment for under-reporting of loans where the buyer did not receive a first home owner grant. From the August 2016 issue (to be released on 11 October 2016) first home buyer statistics shall be revised to reflect the improved reporting by lenders. An Information Paper will be released on the ABS website on 4 October 2016 explaining the extent of the revisions and options for improvements to first home buyer statistics.

Information relating to changes to the method of estimating loans to first home buyers, introduced from the December 2014 issue, can be found in the information paper Changes to the method of estimating loan commitments to first home buyers (cat. no. 5609.0.55.003) on the ABS website. First home buyers are defined as persons entering the home ownership market as owner-occupiers for the first time. First time investors are excluded.