Home loan commitments reach new record levels

Media Release
Released
4/05/2021

New loan commitments for housing rose 5.5 per cent in March 2021 (seasonally adjusted) to a new record high of $30.2 billion according to new figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Lending to investors accounted for more than half of the March rise in housing loan commitments. The value of new loan commitments for investor housing rose 12.7 per cent to $7.8 billion in March 2021 (seasonally adjusted), 54.3 per cent higher than in March 2020.

ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan, said: “Investor lending has seen a sustained period of growth since the 20 year low seen in May 2020. The rise in March is the largest recorded since July 2003 and was driven by increased loan commitments to investors for existing dwellings.”

“The value of new loan commitments for owner occupier housing rose 3.3 per cent to $22.4 billion in March 2021, 55.6 per cent higher than March 2020. This rise was driven by an 8.8 per cent rise in the value of loan commitments for existing dwellings.”

The value of owner occupier loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings fell 14.5 per cent, the first fall since the HomeBuilder grant was introduced in June 2020.

The HomeBuilder grant was reduced from $25k to $15k effective from 1 January 2021.

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Owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments

The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments fell 3.1 per cent to 15,623 in March 2021 (seasonally adjusted). Commitments remained at a historically elevated level and was 58.3 per cent higher than March 2020.

States and territories

New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland accounted for most of the rise in investor housing loan commitments and there were rises in all states and territories except the Australian Capital Territory.

Owner occupier housing loan commitments rose in the largest states but generally fell in the smaller ones. An 8.2 per cent rise in New South Wales accounted for most of the national rise, while Victoria rose 1.6 per cent and Queensland rose 1.1 per cent.

Personal finance loans commitments

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 2.1 per cent in March 2021 (seasonally adjusted). Lending for road vehicles rose 4.5 per cent and was the main reason for the rise in fixed term personal finance.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia

Media notes

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