5609.0 - Housing Finance, Australia, Jan 2015 Quality Declaration 
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 11/03/2015   
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Statistics in this publication are currently derived from returns submitted to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001. The reporting population underwent changes in 2014.

To minimise the reporting load placed on businesses the monthly reporting threshold for non-banks was revised in January 2014 to provide 95 per cent asset coverage of the non-bank sector. Only non-banks with total assets at or above the reporting threshold of $200 million are required to report to APRA monthly. All banks report to APRA.

Non-banks with assets below the new threshold ceased reporting from January 2014. Some other non-banks with assets above the reporting threshold started reporting to APRA from January 2014. The lending commitments of those which started reporting in January 2014 were not included in January 2014 to January 2015 published statistics pending assessment of seasonal impacts of those non-banks’ commitments on seasonally adjusted and trend series estimates.

The February 2015 issue of this publication will include finance commitments reported by non-banks above the reporting threshold that started reporting from January 2014. The February 2015 issue will include revisions resulting from the change in the reporting population. Further details will be provided in the February 2015 issue of this publication.


From the December 2014 issue, the ABS changed its method of estimating loans to first home buyers by adjusting for under-reporting by some lenders that only report on those buyers receiving a first home owner grant. Data on first home buyers are collected by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Financial Sector (Collection of Data) Act 2001. The ABS is working with APRA 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.

The model developed by the ABS for lenders who are under-reporting loans to first home buyers draws on the ratio of first home buyers to total loans for those lenders reporting correctly. The new estimation method will continue to be used in future releases and updated as lenders progressively improve their reporting.

The information paper Changes to the method of estimating loan commitments to first home buyers (cat. no. 5609.0.55.003), released on the ABS website on 4 February 2015, describes the new methodology and the extent of revisions to previously published estimates. For further information on the first home buyers adjustments, please email <finacct@abs.gov.au> or phone the Financial Statistics Section on Sydney (02) 9268 4186.