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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces Housing Finance from two main sources. The majority of data are sourced from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA), while the ABS collects data for lenders that are not required to report to APRA. Final quality assurance and analysis of all data is conducted by the ABS.
These commitments are classified by:
Housing Finance also presents the outstanding value of housing loan assets to individuals held by lenders at the end of each reference month.
It is important to note the distinction between a financing commitment and actual financing activity. Housing finance commitments are not a direct measure of financing, sales or construction in the residential dwelling market. A commitment exists once the home loan application has been approved, and a loan contract or letter of offer has been issued to the borrower. A commitment to lend will therefore exist only after the property has been found and valued and mortgage insurance arranged (where relevant). The actual advancement of funds may not occur in the same month or necessarily at all. This data is contained in Table 8: Housing Finance Commitments (Owner Occupation), By Purpose and Change in Stock.
All tables in Housing Finance, except table 12, contain data from lenders' monthly reporting of new finance commitments to either APRA or the ABS. Table 12 (Housing Loans Outstanding to Households) contains data from both monthly and quarterly statements of financial position submitted to either APRA or the ABS. The quarterly data are published in the month following the quarterly reference period.
Financial institutions subject to prudential regulation are obliged to report information to APRA directly. Data for these institutions are then provided to the ABS for inclusion in Housing Finance. Data for other lenders, such as wholesale lenders, are directly collected by the ABS. These sources cover all banks and permanent building societies, as well as other lenders providing aggregate housing finance funds of more than $50m ("Significant" lenders). Additional smaller lenders are included to maintain collection coverage. These criteria ensure the coverage includes at least:
Occasionally a financial institution may change its institution type, for example, from a building society to a bank. The reclassification caused by such a change is reflected in the month it occurs, and earlier periods are not revised. Details of the establishment of new banks are published in the Reserve Bank Bulletin Technical Notes to Tables.
Both seasonal and trend estimates, by their nature, are subject to revisions over time. In most instances, the larger revisions will be to the previous month and the same month a year ago. The possible effects of trend revisions to Housing Finance are examined in What If...? Revisions to Trend Estimates. For more information regarding seasonal adjustment and trend series, refer to the Explanatory Notes, or Time Series Analysis Frequently Asked Questions.
Alternative data sources include the APRA Statistics website and the Reserve Bank of Australia's Bulletin. They include a large number of tables of financial statistics, mostly sourced from the ABS and APRA.
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