Housing loan commitments fell 3.4 per cent in August

Media Release

The value of new loan commitments for housing fell 3.4 per cent to $27.4 billion in August 2022 (seasonally adjusted), after a fall of 8.5 per cent in July, according to data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Katherine Keenan, head of Finance and Wealth at the ABS, said: “The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments fell 2.7 per cent in August 2022, and the value of new investor loan commitments fell 4.8 per cent.

“Although lending continued to fall from the high levels of June 2022, the value of loan commitments in August remained elevated compared to pre-pandemic levels. Owner occupier loans in August were 36 per cent higher than February 2020, while investor loans were 70 per cent higher."

The number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers rose 10.4 per cent in August 2022 to 9,258. This was the largest rise since August 2020, although the level remained well below the January 2021 high of 16,330. Increased demand was seen across almost all states and territories, particularly in Victoria (up 11.9 per cent), Queensland (up 14.3 per cent) and Western Australia (up 13.9 per cent).

“Anecdotal feedback attributed some of the August owner-occupier first home buyer increased demand to the 2022-23 First Home Guarantee,” Ms Keenan said.

The value of borrower refinancing of owner-occupier housing loan commitments between lenders rose 2.8 per cent in August 2022 to a new record high of $12.8 billion. Borrowers continued to seek loans with lower interest rates amid an increase in the RBA cash rate in August.

At the national level, the average loan size for owner-occupier dwellings (which includes construction and the purchase of new and existing dwellings) fell in August from $609,000 to $589,000, though it remained 23 per cent higher than that seen in February 2020. Average loan sizes fell in every state, however rose slightly in both territories.


Housing finance loan commitments by property purpose and state, seasonally adjusted – August 2022

 Value ($b) :$18.5b$5.6b$5.5b$3.6b$1.0b$1.9b$0.3b$0.1b$0.5b
 Value % change ** :-2.7%-8.5%-2.9%-0.4%-3.8%7.2%8.3%7.0%6.6%
Owner-occupier first home buyers          
 Number % change ** :10.4%4.4%11.9%14.3%-1.4%13.9%30.7% †22.6% †9.5%
 Value % change ** :-4.8%-4.9%-4.0%-2.7%-9.6%3.0%4.1%-26.5% †3.0%

* 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 new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 9.5 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in August 2022. Lending for the purchase of road vehicles rose 17.7 per cent following a 5.2 per cent rise in July, recovering to previous levels after a sharp fall in June.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia.

Media notes

  • Month-on-month movements are noted above in percentage terms but, where contrasted against each other, ordered in largest to smallest value terms (e.g., state and territory movements)

  • When reporting ABS data you must attribute the Australian Bureau of Statistics (or the ABS) as the source.

  • For media requests and interviews, contact the ABS Media Team via media@abs.gov.au (8.30am-5pm Mon-Fri).

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