Construction loan commitments surge

Media Release
Released
2/11/2020

The total value of new loan commitments for housing rose 5.9 per cent in September, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

The value of owner occupier home loan commitments rose 6.0 percent to $17.3 billion in September.

ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Amanda Seneviratne, said, “Approximately half of the rise in September’s owner occupier housing loan commitments was for the construction of new dwellings, which rose 25.3 per cent”.

This followed a 19.2 per cent rise in August.

“Owner occupier housing loan commitments are at historically high levels, consistent with low interest rates and government incentives. For example, it is likely that the HomeBuilder grant is contributing to increased demand for construction loans”, Ms Seneviratne said.

A new article on the ABS website provides an overview of how the dwelling construction and finance process is recorded in ABS data. The article also describes how government grants, such as HomeBuilder, interact with the construction and finance process, and how such grants will impact ABS statistics.

The value of owner occupier home loan commitments rose in all states except Victoria and Tasmania. Victorian owner occupier home loan commitments fell 8.8 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms reflecting decreased housing market activity in July and August when COVID-19 related stage 3 and stage 4 restrictions were imposed.

“The fall in commitments for existing dwellings in Victoria was partly offset by a rise in commitments for construction of new dwellings”.

The total number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments rose 6.0 per cent, reaching 13,040 loan commitments, seasonally adjusted.

The total value of loan commitments for investor housing was $5.3 billion, an increase of 5.2 per cent.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 8.5 per cent in September, seasonally adjusted, as commitments for vehicles recovered from the fall in August.

The ABS appreciates the continued support of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) and lending institutions in providing the data used to compile this publication and for the additional data insights being provided by lending institutions.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia (cat no. 5601.0).

Media Notes

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