5609.0 - Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, Dec 2003  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/02/2004   
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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 rent 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 Registered Financial Corporations.

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 two broad groupings of lender type: Banks and Non-Banks; the Non-Bank grouping also has the components Permanent Building Societies and Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. published.


4 The statistics cover all banks and permanent building societies. The largest of the remaining lenders of 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 Non-Banks series are excluded under these coverage criteria, at least 70% of finance commitments by wholesale contributors are covered.

5 An annual collection is conducted to maintain and update the survey coverage. 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 $50m 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 Lender series from the month of such change. 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.

10 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, 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.

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 $249m in July 2000.

12 Wholesale lenders contribute to the Non-Banks series, which is seasonally adjusted in table 3. A trend break was added to the Non-Banks series, shifting the trend up by 1,579 commitments and $178m 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 $167m. Consequential breaks in the finance purpose trend series at July 2000 were:
  • construction finance trend shifted down 16 commitments ($3m)
  • new dwelling finance trend shifted up 26 commitments ($1m)
  • established dwelling finance trend shifted up 313 commitments ($13m)
  • refinancing trend shifted up 177 commitments ($17m)
  • total finance trend shifted up 323 commitments ($11m).

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 9). Instead, from July 2000, 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 to calculate their contribution to the First Home Buyers series. As a result, first home buyer commitments were 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 contact person listed on the front of the publication.


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 number 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, four of the 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. 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 21 and 22 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. State component series are also affected by the changes mentioned in paragraphs 15 to 18.

20 The housing finance series uses a concurrent seasonal adjustment methodology to derive the seasonal adjustment factors. This means that original estimates available at the current reference month are used to estimate seasonal factors for the current and previous months. As a result of this methodology, the seasonally adjusted and trend estimates for earlier periods can be revised each month. However, in most instances, the only noticeable revisions will be to the previous month and the same month a year ago.


21 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.

22 While the smoothing technique described in paragraph 21 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.


23 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals. Percentage changes in this publication have been derived from unrounded data.


24 Estimates for months prior to those shown in this publication and more detailed series can be purchased in spreadsheet format from the ABS web site - see listing on page 3. 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:
  • Lending Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5671.0)
  • Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers (cat. no. 5232.0.40.001)
  • Buildings Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0)
  • Building Activity, Australia: Dwelling Unit Commencement, Preliminary (cat. no. 8750.0)

26 In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia produces the monthly Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin as well as data on its web site <http:\\www.rba.gov.au>. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) publishes a range of finance statistics on its web site <http:\\www.apra.gov.au>.

27 Current publications produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products, Australia (cat. no. 1101.0). The Catalogue and information on forthcoming releases (Release Advices) are available from any ABS office or from this site.