Investor lending rose again to a record high in January

Media Release
Released
1/03/2022

New investor housing loan commitments rose 6.1 per cent to another record high of $11.0 billion (seasonally adjusted) in January 2022, according to data released today from 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 15 consecutive months, consistent with the strong housing market and growth in house prices."

"Despite record investor loan commitments, the share of investor lending to all new housing loan commitments was around one third. This reflects the rapid growth of owner occupier commitments over the past 18 months.”

The rise in investor loan commitments was driven by New South Wales (up 9.8 per cent), Victoria (up 11.1 per cent), and the Australian Capital Territory (22.8 per cent). Queensland fell slightly (1.7 per cent) but remained at historically elevated levels.

The value of new loan commitments for total housing rose 2.6 per cent to a record high of $33.7 billion, driven by the rise in investor loan commitments. The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments rose 1.0 per cent to $22.7 billion.

The rise in owner-occupier loan commitments was also driven by New South Wales (up 3.3 per cent), Victoria (up 3.2 per cent) and the Australian Capital Territory (up 33.5 per cent).

The number of new loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers fell 6.9 per cent in January 2022. This was 32.6 per cent lower compared to a year ago, when first home buyer activity was near a record high.

Falls in the number of owner-occupier first home buyer commitments were seen across almost all states and territories, with Queensland (down 16.1 per cent) and Western Australia (down 8.1 per cent) being the strongest. The Australian Capital Territory recorded the only increase (up 25.7 per cent).

At the national level, the average loan size for owner-occupier dwellings (which includes construction and the purchase of new and existing dwellings) rose $17,000 to another record high of $619,000 in January.

Ms Keenan said: “The strong rise in the average loan size for owner-occupier dwellings in January was due to an increase in the value of commitments, and a largely unchanged number of new loan commitments. All states and territories rose to new highs except Tasmania and the Northern Territory.”

Personal finance loan commitments

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 0.8 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in January 2022. Lending for the purchase of road vehicles rose 0.9 per cent.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia.

Media notes

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