5609.0 - Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia, Feb 2004  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/05/2004   
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This document contains information concerning the revised format of this publication to be released for March 2004 on the 12th May 2004.

Also enclosed are the revised sections of the Explanatory Notes, Glossary and associated Ausstats tables.


A number of changes to the format and content of Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, Australia (cat. no. 5609.0) will be introduced in the March 2004 issue. From this issue the title of the publication will change from Housing Finance for Owner Occupation to Housing Finance. Further changes are:

the inclusion of two new tables - Table 11. Housing Finance Commitments, Owner Occupation and Investment Housing on page 21; and
Table 12. Housing Loans Outstandings to Households, by Lender, Australia;

the replacement of graph 'Number of dwellings' by the new graph 'Housing Finance' on page 1;

and changes to the format and content of the Key Figures on page 1.

This draft is being made available for perusal by users.



The additional data will be available from AusStats and Time Series Spreadsheets together with the currently available tables.

New tables: 5609011.wks5609012.WK1

The numbering of the some Ausstats table will change as follows:

New table no Previous table no

5609013a.wks 5609011a.wks 5609013b.wks 5609011b.wks 5609013c.wks 5609011c.wks 5609014.WK1 5609012.WK1 5609015.WK1 5609013.WK1

Explanatory Notes


1 This publication presents statistics of housing finance commitments made by significant lenders. This includes secured finance commitments for the construction or purchase of owner occupied dwellings and finance commitments for the construction or purchase of dwellings for rent or resale (investment housing). Also included are the outstanding value of housing loan assets to individuals held by lenders at the end of each reference month.


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 (RFCs).

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 Housing loan outstandings presented in table 12 include residential loan assets held by the types of lenders listed in paragraph 2 above. The lender type for housing loan outstandings will reflect the entity that holds the mortage on their balance sheet at the end of the particular reference month, and not necessarily the loan originator. Housing loans sold, for example to a securitisation vehicle, and removed from the balance sheet of the loan originator will result in a transfer of assets from the loan originator to purchaser.

5 Housing loan outstandings are classified to the following lender types: Banks; Permanent Building societies; Credit unions/co-operative credit societies; Securitisation vehicles; and Other lenders n.e.c.. The first three of these types are are components of the grouping Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs). Loan outstanding for the ADI lender types are published monthly, and are classified by purpose (owner-occupied housing or investment housing). All other institutions, including securitisation vehicles, are only available on a quarterly basis.


6 The statistics of housing finance commitments 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 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.

7 An annual collection is conducted to maintain and update the survey coverage of housing finance commitments. New lenders are included as their lending for housing becomes sufficiently large.

8 From June 2001, the collection of housing finance commitments 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).

9 The statistics of housing loan outstandings cover all lenders included in the scope of paragraph 2 that have been identified as holding residential loan assets on their balance sheet as at the end of a particular reference month.


10 For banks, credit co-operatives, building societies and RFCs, the statistics in this publication are currently derived from returns submitted to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA). The Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001 facilitates the collection of statistical data from the financial sector, with APRA established as the central point for collection of both prudential and statistical data. In October 2001, APRA implemented new reporting forms for building societies and credit co-operatives. New reporting forms were implemented for banks in March 2002, and for RFCs in March 2003. APRA commenced collecting loan commitments data from banks, credit co-operatives, building societies in July 2002 and from RFCs in March 2003.

11 Housing finance commitments for owner-occupied housing from banks, building societies and credit co-operatives are derived from form ARF 392.0 Housing Finance collected by APRA. Housing finance commitments for investor housing from these lenders are sourced from the ARF 394.0 Personal Finance. Housing finance commitments for RFCs are collected on the RRF 392.0 Housing Finance and RRF 394.0 Personal Finance for owner occupied housing and investor housing respectively.

12 Statistics on loan outstandings in Table 12 are sourced from banks on form ARF 320.0 Statement of Financial Position (Domestic Books), with lending by building societies and credit co-operatives derived from form ARF 323.0: Statement of Financial Position (Licensed ADI). While building societies and credit co-operatives with total assets greater than or equal to $50 million are required to report this APRA return on a monthly basis, those institutions with total assets less than this threshold are only required to submit this return on a quarterly basis. An undercoverage adjustment is made in deriving table 12 in the intervening two months between each quarter ending month to derive estimates for the complete population on a monthly basis.

13 Electronic versions of the forms and instructions for ADIs are available on the APRA website at: http://www.apra.gov.au/Statistics/Revised-Authorised-Deposit-taking-Institution-ADI-reporting-requirements.cfm. For RFCs, these are available at: http://www.apra.gov.au/rfc/.

14 All other institutions, including securitisation vehicles, are collected directly by the ABS. Data on loan outstandings to households for housing purposes for these lender types are only available on a quarterly basis. The data for Other lenders nec. is compiled from a range of other data sources collected by the ABS.


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

16 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.

Wholesale Lenders

17 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.

18 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.

19 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 for owner occupied housing by $249m in July 2000.

20 Wholesale lenders contribute to the Non-Banks series for owner occupied housing, 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 for owner occupied housing of 1,256 commitments and $167m. Consequential breaks in the finance purpose trend series for owner occupied housing 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).

21 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.

22 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.

Seasonal Adjustment

23 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.

24 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.

25 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.

26 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).

27 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.

28 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.

Trend Estimates

29 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>.

30 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.

Effects of Rounding

31 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.

ABS Data Available on Request

32 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.

Related Releases

33 Users may also wish to refer to the following ABS releases:
  • Lending Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5671.0) - issued monthly
  • Assets and Liabilities of Australian Securitisers (cat. no. 5232.0.40.001) - issued quarterly
  • Buildings Approvals, Australia (cat. no. 8731.0) - issued monthly
  • Building Activity, Australia: Dwelling Unit Commencement, Preliminary (cat. no. 8750.0) - issued monthly

34 Quarterly data prior to the March 2002 for housing loan outstandings by type of lending institution is available as a priced special data report related to the Australian National Accounts: Financial Accounts (cat. no. 5232.0). Inquiries regarding this special data report should be made to the contact on the front cover of this publication.

35 In addition, the Reserve Bank of Australia produces the monthly Reserve Bank of Australia Bulletin as well as data on its web site. Bulletin tables D1 & D2 contain statistics on lending and credit aggregates (including the housing credit aggregate), which contain lending and credit to the private non-financial sector. Note though that the credit aggregates only includes lending provided by the following types of financial intermediaries: banks, credit co-operatives, building societies, RFCs and the RBA. Table D5 Bank Lending by Sector contains statistics on lending to persons for the purpose of housing, also classified by owner-occupiers and investors with statistics available from January 1990.

36 Residential lending by building societies and credit co-operatives is also published in Bulletin tables B7 and B8. These statistics are also sourced from APRA collected data, although this will differ to statistics in Table 12 of this publication since the Bulletin tables only include data for building societies and credit co-operatives with total assets greater than or equal to $50 million. Bulletin table B.16 Securitisation Vehicles contains outstandings information for mortgage held, which includes both residential and non-residential mortgages.

37 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 the ABS web site .


Alterations and additions

Alterations and additions cover all structural and non-structural changes which are integral to the functional and structural design of a dwelling. Examples are garages, carports, pergolas, reroofing, recladding, etc. Alterations and additions do not include swimming pools, ongoing repairs, or maintenance and home improvements which do not involve building work.

Average loan

The Average Loan series is calculated as follows:

Total value of lending commitments per month

Total number of dwellings financed per month

The Average Loan series does not necessarily represent the average loan size per dwelling. For instance, the average separately reflects first and second mortgages, committed in separate months, which apply to the same dwelling.


A lending commitment is a firm offer of housing finance. It either has been, or is normally expected to be, accepted. Included are commitments to provide housing finance to employees and commitments accepted and cancelled in the same month.

Commitments not advanced

Commitments not advanced at the end of the month are calculated as follows:

Balance of unadvanced commitments at the end of the previous month
+ Total new housing commitments (including refinancing)
+ Alterations and additions
= Total commitments
- Cancellations of commitments
- Commitments advanced during the month
= Commitments not advanced at the end of the month

Commitment value

The commitment value for a contract of sale is the dwelling’s sale value less any deposit.

Construction of dwellings

Construction of dwellings represents commitments made to individuals to finance, by way of progress payments, the construction of owner occupied dwellings.


A dwelling is a single self-contained place of residence such as a detached or semi-detached house, a terrace house, a flat, home unit, town house, etc.

Dwellings units

Dwelling units refer to the number of single self-contained residences for which commitments have been made, either on the security of first mortgage or on contract of sale.

Established dwelling

An established dwelling is one which has been completed for 12 months or more prior to the lodgement of a loan application, or which has been previously occupied.

First home buyers

First home buyers are persons entering the home ownership market for the first time.

Fixed loans

Generally involve:

a commitment for a fixed amount for a fixed period for a specific purpose;
a schedule of repayments over a fixed period; and
repayments which reduce the liability of the borrower but do not act to make further
finance available.

Fixed rate loan

Fixed rate loans have a set interest rate which cannot be varied, either upward or downward, for a minimum period of two years. Capped loans are not categorised as fixed rate loans because their interest rate can vary within a two year period.

Housing Loan Outstandings

The value of outstanding housing loans to Australian households as at a particular point in time (for statistics in this publication this refers to the end of the reference month). A loan is a defined as an asset of a lending institution, which is not evidenced by the issuing of a security by the borrower.

New dwelling

A new dwelling is one that has been completed within 12 months of the lodgement of a loan application, and the borrower will be the first occupant.

Other lenders n.e.c.

Comprises all lenders that are not banks, permanent building societies, credit co-operatives or securitisation vehicles. Includes life or general insurance companies, superannuation funds, government housing schemes, housing co-operatives, registered financial corporations and other financial institutions.


For investment housing finance, it represents a commitment to refinance an existing loan. For secured housing finance for owner occupation, only those loans where the refinancing lender is not the original lender and the security is unchanged are included. The refinancing of a loan to fund a change of residence is treated as a new lending commitment.

Revolving credit

Generally has the following characteristics:
  • a commitment for a credit or borrowing limit is given for a specific period after which the commitment is reviewed;
  • the extent of the borrowing used at any time during the period may be for any amount up to the authorised limit; and
  • repayments (other than of charges and interest) made during the period reduce the extent of the borrowing used and thereby increase the amount of unused credit available up to the authorised limit. Examples include credit cards, lines of credit and approved overdrafts.

Secured housing finance

This is all secured commitments to individuals for the construction or purchase of dwellings for owner occupation, regardless of type of security. Commitments for dwellings that will be occupied by persons other than the owner(s) are excluded.

Securitisation vehicle

Special purpose vehicles (generally trusts) that issue mortgage backed securities, which are debt securities secured by specific pools of mortgages and repaid from the cash flows (principal and interest payments) of the specific mortgage pool.


The dwelling includes bathing and cooking facilities.

Wholesale lenders

A wholesale lender provides funds to borrowers through a retail intermediary which may then also be responsible for the ongoing relationship with the borrower. The Wholesale Lenders n.e.c. (not elsewhere classified) series almost exclusively comprises securitisation vehicles (typically special purpose trusts) established to issue mortgage backed securities. It excludes funds provided where a bank or permanent building society, acting as a wholesale provider of funds, remains the lender on the contract. Those commitments are published as bank or permanent building society commitments.