Lending indicators

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

Reference period
December 2020

Key statistics

In December 2020, new loan commitments (seasonally adjusted):

  • rose 8.6% for housing
  • fell 0.5% for personal fixed term loans
  • rose 109.9% for business construction (typically a volatile series)

New borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)

Dec-20 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
  Owner occupier (a)19.948.738.9
  Investor (a)
  Fixed term loans1.75-0.50.1
 Purchase of property5.3938.43.2

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


Record housing loan commitments continue in December

The total value of new loan commitments for housing and the value of owner occupier home loan commitments each reached record highs in December 2020, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures released today.

The total value of new loan commitments for housing rose 8.6 per cent to $26 billion in December 2020, seasonally adjusted, a 31.2 per cent increase on December 2019.

The value of new owner occupier home loan commitments rose 8.7 per cent to $19.9 billion in December 2020, 38.9 per cent higher than December 2019.

Loan commitments for existing dwellings accounted for 53 per cent of December’s rise in owner occupier housing loan commitments, while construction of new dwellings accounted for 32 per cent.

The value of construction loan commitments grew 17.1 per cent in December, more than doubling since the June implementation of the HomeBuilder grant.

Federal and state government measures, such as HomeBuilder, and historically low interest rates are supporting ongoing growth in housing loan commitments.

In December, the number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments rose 9.3 per cent to reach 15,205 (seasonally adjusted), a 56.6 per cent rise since December 2019.

This is the highest level since June 2009, when similar rapid growth was spurred by the temporary tripling of the first home owner grant; part of the federal government’s economic support package in response to the global financial crisis.

The value of owner occupier home loan commitments rose across most states and territories.

Victorian owner occupier home loan commitments rose sharply, up 20.1 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms in December, after a 19.6 per cent rise in November. This reflects a resurgence in housing market activity that began in October as COVID-19 restrictions were eased in Victoria.

The total value of loan commitments for investor housing rose 8.2 per cent to reach $6 billion.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance fell 0.5 per cent in November, seasonally adjusted, due to a fall in commitments for non-housing personal investment.

This recent article provides an overview of the dwelling construction and finance process, and how specific events are recorded in certain Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data series, including the Lending Indicators publication. It also describes how government grants, such as HomeBuilder, interact with the construction and finance process, and how such grants will impact ABS statistics. 

Important data quality note

Economic and Financial Statistics (EFS) collection

Lender type breakdowns

Suspension of trend series

Update to seasonal adjustment methods





New loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

Dec-2020Month percent changeYear percent change
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a)19.948.738.9
  Construction of dwellings3.5217.1119.0
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1.4311.030.2
  Purchase of existing dwellings13.296.824.2
      First home buyers6.5014.160.6
      Total housing (a)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a) (b)---
  Construction of dwellings 8 19215.3121.7
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings 2 82713.125.5
  Purchase of existing dwellings24 7334.018.2
      First home buyers15 2059.356.6
      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.



(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).




*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 December 2020

  • the number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments increased 9.3% in seasonally adjusted terms
  • the number of first home buyer loan commitments for investment purposes accounted for 4.2% of all first home buyer commitments, in original terms
  • owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments accounted for 35.9% of all owner occupier commitments (excluding refinancing), in original terms


Additional information


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

 First home buyer loan commitmentsFirst home buyer ratioFirst home buyer ratio
Total Australia16 77142.1%35.9%
 New South Wales 3 80436.7%31.8%
 Victoria 5 15647.3%39.1%
 Queensland 3 54840.5%35.1%
 South Australia 95336.3%29.5%
 Western Australia 2 55250.1%44.3%
 Tasmania 27333.5%27.4%
 Northern Territory 9939.9%37.5%
 Australian Capital Territory 38637.0%33.9%


* Investor first home buyers (number) for Tas and NT are not available for publication

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

Series ID concordance mapping

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5601.0.

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