5609.0 - Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, 2001  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/12/2001   
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  • Explanatory Notes


1 This publication presents statistics of secured housing finance commitments made by significant lenders to individuals. The commitments are for the construction or purchase of owner occupied dwellings. Commitments for the purchase of land, or for the construction or purchase of dwellings for rental or resale, are excluded and shown in Lending Finance, Australia (Cat. no. 5671.0).


2 Finance commitments made by the following types of lenders are included:

  • Banks
  • Permanent building societies
  • Credit unions/co-operative credit societies
  • Life or general insurance companies
  • General government enterprises
  • Superannuation funds
  • Securitisers of mortgage assets (wholesale lenders) which provide funds to borrowers through a retail intermediary (e.g. mortgage originators)
  • Other corporations registered under the Financial Corporations Act 1974.

3 All lending commitments are classified to the Lender Type which is (or will be) the legal lender on the corresponding loan contract. Commitments are published for three Lender Types: Banks, Permanent Building Societies and Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified).


4 The statistics cover all banks and permanent building societies. For other lenders, the largest lenders to individuals for secured housing finance for owner occupation are included so that, together with banks and building societies, at least 95% of the Australian total of finance commitments for owner occupied housing is covered, and at least 90% of each State total is covered. While many smaller contributors to the Other Lenders series are excluded under these coverage criteria, at least 70% of finance commitments by other lenders are covered.

5 An annual collection is conducted to maintain and update the survey coverage and new lenders are included as their lending for owner occupied housing becomes sufficiently large.

6 From June 2001, the collection covers all commitments by banks and permanent building societies, all other lenders providing funds of more than $50 million in 2000, and some additional smaller other lenders where necessary to maintain collection coverage (as specified in paragraph 4).


7 Revisions to previously published statistics are included in the publication as they occur.

8 Changes in the classification of lenders (e.g. the conversion of a permanent building society to a bank) are reflected in the Type of Lender series from the month of such changes. Data for earlier periods for such lenders are not reclassified. Details of the establishment of new banks are published in the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly Bulletin in the section on Technical Notes to Tables.


9 A wholesale lender provides funds to borrowers through a retail intermediary which may then also be responsible for the on-going relationship with the borrower. The Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. series almost exclusively comprises securitisation vehicles (typically special purpose trusts), established to issue mortgage backed securities. It excludes commitments where a bank or permanent building society (PBS), acting as a wholesale provider of funds, is the lender on the loan contract. Those commitments are published as bank or permanent building society commitments.

10 Commitments for housing finance by Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. are included with both Other Lenders and Total Lenders, as well as being separately identified.

11 From July 1995 to July 2000, mortgage managers reported housing finance commitments on behalf of wholesale lenders. The introduction of wholesale lenders as the reporting unit does not change the scope of the collection, but has increased its coverage. This, along with the reclassification of some lending activity, increased the level of the Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. series by $249 million in July 2000.

12 Wholesale lenders contribute to the Other Lenders series, which is seasonally adjusted in table 2. A trend break was added to the Other Lenders series, shifting the trend up by 1 579 commitments and $178 million in July 2000. Revisions related to the introduction of wholesale lenders also resulted in a downward shift in the Banks trend of 1 256 commitments and $167 million. Consequential breaks in the finance purpose trend series at July 2000 are:
  • construction finance trend shifted down 16 commitments ($3 million)
  • newly erected dwelling trend shifted up 26 commitments ($1 million)
  • established dwelling trend shifted up 313 commitments ($13 million)
  • refinancing trend shifted up 177 commitments ($17 million)
  • total finance trend shifted up 323 commitments ($11 million).

13 Because of difficulties experienced by Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. in accurately identifying first home buyers in their commitments, these data are not used in estimating First Home Buyer commitments (table 7). Instead, the percentage of First Home Buyer commitments made by all banks and permanent building societies is applied to total Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. commitments in calculating their contribution to the series for First Home Buyers from July 2000. As a result, First Home Buyers commitments have been revised upwards by 0.8 percentage points in July 2000.

14 An article on the introduction of the Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. series (including implications for the First Home Buyers series) featured in the October 2000 issue of this publication. A copy of the article is available from the ABS Financial Surveys section.


15 Seasonal adjustment is a means of removing the estimated effects of normal seasonal variation and ‘trading day effects’. A ‘trading day effect’ reflects the varying amounts of activity on different days of the week and the different numbers of days of the week in any month (i.e. the number of Sundays, Mondays, etc.). This effect may be partly caused by the reporting practices of the lenders. Adjustment is also made for Easter which may affect the March and April estimates differently. Seasonal adjustment does not remove the effect of irregular or non-seasonal influences (e.g. a change in interest rates) from the series.

16 Over the period from early 1990 to April 1995, each of the four major banks changed from reporting for the 4 or 5 weeks ending on the last Wednesday of each month to reporting on a calendar month basis. The published seasonally adjusted data take account of this change in pattern.

17 Rapid change in the financial sector, and particularly developments in the provision of housing finance, may cause changes in the seasonal and trading day patterns of the housing finance data. Recent examples include changes in the classification of financial institutions (particularly the reclassification of non bank financial institutions to banks) and the increased use of mortgage securitisation.

18 Estimation of seasonal adjustment and trading day factors that reflect the full effect of recent developments is not possible until a sufficient number of years of data have been collected. When changes are occurring in the seasonal patterns, larger revisions to the seasonally adjusted series can be expected at the time of the annual seasonal re-analysis. Accordingly, the trend estimate data provide a more reliable indicator of underlying movement in housing finance commitments. (See paragraphs 20 and 21 for further information on trend estimates).

19 State component series have been seasonally adjusted independently of the Australian series. The sum of the State components is therefore unlikely to equal the corresponding Australian Total series. The State component series are also affected by the changes mentioned in paragraphs 15 to 18.


20 Smoothing seasonally adjusted series reduces the impact of the irregular component of the seasonally adjusted series and creates trend estimates. These trend estimates are derived by applying a 13 term Henderson-weighted moving average to all but the last six months of the respective seasonally adjusted series. Trend series are created for the last six months by applying surrogates of the Henderson moving average to the seasonally adjusted series. For further information, refer to Information Paper: A Guide to Interpreting Time Series - Monitoring Trends: An Overview (Cat. no. 1348.0) or contact the Assistant Director, Time Series Analysis on Canberra 02 6252 6345 or by email at timeseries@abs.gov.au.

21 While the smoothing technique described in paragraph 20 enables trend estimates to be produced for the latest few months, it does result in revisions to the trend estimates as new data become available. Generally, revisions become smaller over time and, after three months, usually have a negligible impact on the series. Changes in the original data and re-estimation of seasonal factors may also lead to revisions to the trend.


22 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.


23 Estimates for months prior to those shown in this publication and more detailed series are available. There will be a charge for the provision of such data.

24 Detailed data are also available from AusStats, a subscriber service of on-line time series data in spreadsheet format. To subscribe, or for more information, contact the ABS National Information and Referral Service on 1300 135 070.


25 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
  • Finance, Australia (Cat. no. 5611.0)
  • Lending Finance, Australia (Cat. no. 5671.0)
  • Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers (Cat. no. 5232.0.40.001)
  • Annual Statistics for Financial Institutions (Cat. no. 5661.0.40.001)
  • Buildings Approvals, Australia (Cat. no. 8731.0)
  • Building Activity, Australia, Dwelling Unit Commencements (Cat. no. 8750.0)

26 In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia produces the monthly Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) publishes a range of finance statistics on its website <www.apra.gov.au>


m million
n.e.c. not elsewhere classified
n.p. not available for publication but included in totals where applicable
n.y.a. not yet available