ABS to change method of estimating first home buyer loans (Media Release)

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3 February 2015
Embargo: 11.30 am (Canberra time)

ABS to change method of estimating first home buyer loans

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publishes monthly statistics relating to first home buyers in Housing Finance, Australia (cat. no. 5609.0).

These statistics use data collected for the ABS by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001..

An investigation by the ABS has identified that data on first home buyers is under-reported, as some lenders only report loans to first home buyers who have also received a first home owner grant. Some first home buyers not eligible for the grant were incorrectly excluded.

Since a preliminary investigation was completed in October 2014, users of first home buyer statistics were advised to exercise caution in using first home buyer data until further investigations were complete.

The total value of home lending is separately reported and is not affected.

The ABS and APRA are working with lenders to ensure all loans to first home buyers are recorded in the future, regardless of whether they receive a first home owner grant or not.

In the interim, the ABS will adjust first home buyer data for this under-reporting by modelling estimates based on data provided by lenders that have reported correctly. The estimates will be updated over time as more lenders report correctly.

An information paper will be released on the ABS website on February 4, 2015, explaining the findings from the investigation, changes to the method of estimating loans to first home buyers, and the extent of revisions to previously published estimates. This paper - Changes to the method of estimating loan commitments to first home buyers (cat.no. 5609.0.55.003) - will be available on the ABS website www.abs.gov.au from 11.30am on Wednesday.

Loans to first home buyers are published in Housing Finance, Australia (cat.no. 5609.0), Table 9.

Media Note:
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
  • Media requests and interviews - contact the ABS Communications Section on 1300 175 070.