New housing loan commitments fell 0.9% in February

Media Release

The value of new loan commitments for housing fell 0.9 per cent to $22.6 billion in February 2023 (seasonally adjusted), after a revised fall of 2.4 per cent in January, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Dane Mead, ABS head of Finance and Wealth, said: “The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments fell 1.2 per cent to $15.0 billion in February 2023, while the value of new investor loan commitments fell 0.5 per cent to $7.6 billion.

“Housing finance continued to decline from the record highs in January 2022, with the total value of new loan commitments falling 33 per cent since then.”

The value of owner-occupier housing loan refinancing between lenders rose 3.5 per cent to a new record high of $13.6 billion in February 2023. Borrowers continued to switch lenders for lower interest rates as the RBA’s cash rate rose.

The number of new owner-occupier first home buyer loan commitments fell 3.5 per cent in February 2023, after a revised fall of 4.6 per cent in January.

“Owner-occupier first home buyer lending continued to decline from the high reached in January 2021, to the lowest level seen since May 2017. It was also 27 per cent lower than February 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Mead said.

 Value ($b) :
 Value change ($m):-17529496-104-20-39-12-21-11
 Value % change ** :- †-2.8
Owner-occupier first home buyers
 Number change:-25191-57-8-22-81-3231
 Number % change ** :-3.55.9-2.7-0.5-4.9-7.3- †
 Value change ($m):-38200-80-73302014-11-95
 Value % change ** :-0.56.9-4.0- †-27.8 †-36.9 †

* 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 rose 1.1 per cent. Lending for the purchase of road vehicles fell 0.3 per cent.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia.

Media notes

  • All figures are seasonally adjusted unless noted otherwise.
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