Investor lending neared record highs in October

Media Release
Released
2/12/2021

New investor loan commitments rose 1.1 per cent to near record levels in October 2021 (seasonally adjusted), according to statistics released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan, said: “The value of new loan commitments for investor housing has grown for 12 consecutive months, reaching $9.7b in October 2021. This was the highest level since the all-time high in April 2015.”

"While the value of investor loan commitments has grown 90 per cent over the past year, the number of investor loans only accounted for 33 per cent of all new loan commitments for housing in October."

Increased investor loan commitments were seen across most states and territories. There was ongoing strength in Queensland (up 8.9 per cent), rising to a record high of $2.1b. Increases were also seen in South Australia (up 15.0 per cent), New South Wales (up 1.3 per cent), Western Australia (up 4.4 per cent), the Northern Territory (up 78.7 per cent – a smaller, more volatile series) and Tasmania (up 3.3 per cent). Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory both fell, down 3.8 per cent and 12.4 per cent respectively.

The value of new loan commitments for total housing fell 2.5 per cent in October 2021 (seasonally adjusted), driven by a 4.1 per cent fall in the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments.

Ms Keenan said: “The value of owner-occupier loan commitments fell for the fifth consecutive month, but remained 15 per cent higher compared to a year ago and 43 per cent higher than pre-COVID levels in February 2020.”

The fall in owner-occupier loan commitments was driven by an 8.4 per cent fall in New South Wales. Most other states and territories also fell, including Western Australia (down 7.4 per cent), Queensland (down 3.6 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (down 19.0 per cent) and South Australia (down 4.8 per cent). Tasmania (up 3.3 per cent) and the Northern Territory (up 0.1 per cent) both rose slightly. Victoria rose 2.6 per cent after a sharp fall in September.

Owner-occupier first home buyer loan commitments

The number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers fell for the ninth consecutive month, down 3.8 per cent in October 2021 (seasonally adjusted). The number of these commitments was 16.0 per cent lower compared to October 2020.

Ms Keenan said: “Falls in the number of owner-occupier first home buyer loan commitments were seen across most states and territories, particularly Western Australia, which fell 13.8 per cent, Queensland, which fell 6.3 per cent and New South Wales, which fell 4.3 per cent. There were small increases in Victoria of 1.9 per cent and in the Northern Territory of 6.0 per cent.”

“Owner-occupier first home buyers accounted for around 20 per cent of the number of all new loan commitments for housing in October.”

Personal finance loan commitments

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 4.7 per cent in October 2021 (seasonally adjusted), driven by an 11.6 per cent rise in lending for personal investment.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia.

Media notes

  • 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).
  • Subscribe to our media release notification service to get notified of ABS media releases or publications upon their release.