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Lending indicators

This release is about new borrower-accepted finance commitments for housing, personal and business loans

Reference period
April 2021
Released
4/06/2021

Key statistics

In April 2021, new loan commitments (seasonally adjusted):

  • rose 3.7 per cent for housing
  • rose 4.8 per cent for personal fixed term loans
  • fell 10.5 per cent for business construction (typically a volatile series)

New borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)

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Apr-21 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households   
 Housing31.063.768.2
  Owner occupier (a)23.004.370.1
  Investor (a)8.052.163.0
 Personal   
  Fixed term loans1.884.857.7
Businesses   
 Construction2.37-10.514.8
 Purchase of property6.5727.853.6

(a) Loan commitments for owner occupier, investor housing and personal fixed term loans exclude refinancing.

 

Important data quality note

Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection

From July 2019 onwards, data in this publication has been sourced from the Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection, a new and improved data source collected by APRA on behalf of the ABS and RBA. There have been extensive and ongoing discussions with lenders about the EFS collection. Data quality is expected to continue to improve over time, as lenders become accustomed to the new reporting basis and further refine the data they report. This process is likely to lead to revisions, including to the historical time series.

Seasonal adjustment changes

Review of seasonal adjustment factors

In the April 2020 Lending Indicators release, the ABS advised that the method used to produce seasonally adjusted estimates would be changed from the ‘concurrent’ method to the ‘forward factors’ method, during the COVID-19 period. The forward factors approach is better suited to managing large movements at the end point of series and ensures that large movements do not have a disproportionate influence on the seasonal factors.

Given the disruption to the lending market during the COVID-19 period and the continuing use of a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS has undertaken an extensive annual review of its seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series.

This review follows similar reviews that are progressively being undertaken across the ABS economic statistics program. The Lending Indicators review identified a range of time series treatments to ensure that the seasonal adjustment process continues to be less influenced by the large month-to-month movements over the past year, and more informed by seasonality before the COVID period. Revisions to most seasonally adjusted series are therefore relatively minor, but larger than would be observed through the use of concurrent seasonal adjustment (which was used prior to the COVID period, with revisions progressively made each month).

Static forward factors for the next 12 months have been calculated through this annual process and have been used in the April 2021 release.

Further information can be found here:

https://www.abs.gov.au/articles/methods-changes-during-covid-19-period

All seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series will continue to use the forward factor method for the foreseeable future and are expected to return to using concurrent adjustment when the risk disruption to Lending Indicators series from COVID-19 becomes sufficiently low. 

Lender type breakdowns

Lender type breakdowns for Major banks, Other Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADIs) and Non-ADIs are only available in this publication from July 2019 onwards. It is likely that more information about lender-type breakdowns will become available in the coming months.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in lending activity. In the short term, this measurement will be significantly affected by changes to regular patterns in lending that will occur during this time, as potential home buyers face uncertainty about their job security, for example. If the trend estimates in this publication were to be calculated without fully accounting for this irregular event, they would likely provide a misleading view of underlying lending activity.

It may be some time before the underlying trend in lending activity can be accurately estimated. The Lending Indicators trend series have therefore been suspended starting from March 2020. The trend series will be reinstated when more certainty emerges in the underlying trend in lending.

     

Housing finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for housing rose 3.7 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 4.3 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 2.1 per cent
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Personal finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal lending rose 4.8 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for personal investment rose 25.2 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for road vehicles rose 3.6 per cent
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Business finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for construction fell 10.5 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for purchase of property rose 27.8 per cent
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Housing finance (detailed)

New loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

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Apr-2021Month percent changeYear percent change
Value($b)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a)23.004.370.1
  Construction of dwellings3.21-11.493.5
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1.55-1.442.7
  Purchase of existing dwellings16.619.269.8
      First home buyers6.69-1.960.4
 Investor   
      Total housing (a)8.052.163.0
Number(No.)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a) (b)---
  Construction of dwellings 7 335-10.796.3
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings 2 912-7.331.1
  Purchase of existing dwellings28 8163.254.9
      First home buyers15 171-1.959.6
 Investor   
      Total housing (a) (b)---

(a) Housing includes loan commitments for dwellings, purchase of residential land and for alterations and additions.
(b) There is no seasonally adjusted or trend data available for the number of owner occupiers or investors for total housing as the data was collected from July 2019.

 

In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 4.3 per cent to reach the highest point in the series
  • The value of new loan commitments for investor housing rose 2.1 per cent, continuing a period of rises since May 2020 and reaching a level similar to June 2017
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In seasonally adjusted terms for owner occupier housing, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings rose 9.2 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings fell 11.4 per cent, the second consecutive month of falls since June 2020. The Homebuilder grant (introduced in June 2020) was reduced from $25k to $15k effective from 1 January 2021 and was closed to new applications from 14 April 2021
  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of new dwellings fell 1.4 per cent
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(a) For periods prior to July 2019, statistics about owner occupier commitments for residential land are modelled using data about the total value of  commitments for residential land.

* Hide/unhide series in the graph by clicking the legend above (toggle the 'purchase of existing dwellings' series for a closer look at the other purposes of owner occupier lending).

 

In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 8.6 per cent in New South Wales, 8.4 per cent in Victoria, 5.3 per cent in South Australia and 1.3 per cent in Queensland
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers fell 7.9 per cent in Western Australia
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In seasonally adjusted terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose across all states except the Australian Capital Territory and Tasmania
  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 7.1 per cent in Queensland, 2.5 per cent in New South Wales and 2.2 per cent in Victoria
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In original terms, in April 2021:

  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month fell 11.2 per cent
  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month fell 13.4 per cent
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 1.4 per cent
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 5.8 per cent
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*A loan is considered funded once any portion of the funds is made available for the borrower to draw down according to the terms of the contract. This will occur after there is a borrower-accepted commitment to provide finance.

**Total Fixed rate and Total Variable rate housing loans include first home buyer loans

First home buyers

In April 2021:

  • The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments fell 1.9 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms

  • Owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments accounted for 32.9 per cent of all owner occupier commitments (excluding refinancing), in original terms

 

Additional information

Previously, the ABS published a first home buyer ratio which was the ratio of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments to all owner occupier loan commitments. The table below presents two owner occupier first home buyer ratios.

  • The first ratio is the ratio of first home buyer loan commitments to total dwelling commitments (excluding refinancing). This is similar to the ratio published prior to October 2019. Loan commitments for dwellings is the sum of loan commitments for construction of dwellings, newly erected dwellings and existing dwellings. 
  • The second ratio is a new ratio, the ratio of first home buyer loan commitments to total housing loan commitments (excluding refinancing). This ratio uses the new key statistic, total housing loan commitments. Total housing loan commitments is the sum of loan commitments for dwellings and loan commitments for purchases of residential land and alterations and additions. 

First home buyer ratios should be used with caution because the direction of movements in the ratio are often not indicative of the direction of movement in the number of first home buyers. First home buyer ratios are no longer routinely published by the ABS in the time series spreadsheets. 

The table below does not include first home buyer loan commitments for investors. Information about the number of loan commitments for investors is new and is separately presented in a graph below.

  

New loan commitments to owner occupier first home buyers (original), number

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 First home buyer loan commitmentsFirst home buyer ratioFirst home buyer ratio
 NumberDwellingsHousing
Total Australia14 08337.8%32.9%
 New South Wales 3 34134.2%29.7%
 Victoria 4 33240.9%35.3%
 Queensland 2 83535.8%31.4%
 South Australia 90132.8%28.9%
 Western Australia 2 06545.7%41.4%
 Tasmania 24534.6%27.9%
 Northern Territory 10038.8%34.8%
 Australian Capital Territory 26433.2%29.1%
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Series ID concordance mapping

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5601.0.