First home buyer loans rose in March

Media Release

The number of new owner-occupier first home buyer loan commitments rose 15.8 per cent in March 2023 (seasonally adjusted), after reaching a five-year low in February, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Mish Tan, ABS head of finance statistics, said despite the monthly rise in owner-occupier first home buyer lending, the number of these commitments was 22 per cent lower compared to a year ago.

“During the second half of 2020, first home buyer lending reflected the strength in demand for housing during the pandemic, with new commitments peaking in January 2021 and declining by half since then,” Dr Tan said.

The overall value of new loan commitments for housing rose 4.9 per cent to $24.0 billion in March 2023. The value of total new owner-occupier loan commitments rose 5.5 per cent to $16.0 billion, while new investor loan commitments rose 3.7 per cent to $8.0 billion.

“The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments in March remained 25 per cent lower compared to the same time last year, while new investor loan commitments were 29 per cent lower,” Dr Tan said.

The value of new owner-occupier housing loan refinances between lenders rose 3.9 per cent to another record high of $14.2 billion in March 2023. Borrowers continued to switch lenders for lower interest rates as the RBA’s cash rate rose.

 Value ($b) :
 Value change ($m):839971332897280111912
 Value % change ** : †3.0
Owner-occupier first home buyers
 Number change:1 10729422221073128122-34
 Number % change ** :15.818.010.713.717. †
 Value change ($m):2851372108-1522-100.431
 Value % change ** : †1.419.0 †

* Total Australia levels do not necessarily equal the sum of states, due to independent seasonal adjustment

** All movements are on a month-to-month basis

† A smaller and more volatile series

Personal finance

The value of total new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance fell 3.1 per cent. Lending for the purchase of road vehicles rose slightly by 0.7 per cent.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia.

Media notes

  • All figures are seasonally adjusted unless noted otherwise.
  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.
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