Lending indicators

Latest release

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

Reference period
December 2023
Released
2/02/2024
  • Next Release 7/03/2024
    Lending indicators, January 2024
  • Next Release 8/04/2024
    Lending indicators, February 2024
  • Next Release 3/05/2024
    Lending indicators, March 2024
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Key statistics

In December 2023, new loan commitments (seasonally adjusted):

  • fell 4.1% for housing
  • fell 2.4% for personal fixed term loans
  • rose 3.3% for business construction (a typically volatile series) and rose 0.9% in trend terms
  • rose 1.0% for business purchase of property (a typically volatile series) but was flat in trend terms
Value of new borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)
 Dec-2023 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households 
 Housing26.27-4.111.7
  Owner Occupier (a)16.77-5.67.4
  Investor (a)9.50-1.320.4
 Personal 
  Fixed term loans2.32-2.47.7
Businesses   
 Construction2.313.321.9
 Purchase of Property5.321.03.7
  1. Loan commitments for owner occupier, investor housing and personal fixed term loans exclude refinancing.

Important data quality notes

Seasonal adjustment methods

The ABS regularly undertakes an extensive review of seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series to ensure that the seasonal adjustment process continues to produce robust, high quality data. Similar reviews are regularly undertaken across the ABS economic statistics program. Past issues of Lending Indicators contain more information on methods changes that were made during those periods. Further information can also be found here: Methods changes during the COVID-19 period

Following the reversion to concurrent seasonal adjustment from the October 2022 release, revisions to historical data will occur each month.

Treatment of Buy Now Pay Later products in Personal finance

The ABS has identified some inconsistencies in how Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) loan products are being reported. We are working with APRA, the Reserve Bank and lenders to ensure reporting aligns with reporting guidance and definitions, and is consistent across different lenders. Revisions to Personal finance data are expected when this is resolved.

Personal finance data quality

Some inconsistencies with data reporting have been identified with personal finance lending series. While these series continue to be published, they should be used with caution. The ABS is working with APRA and data providers to resolve these issues as quickly as possible.

Housing finance

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for total housing fell 4.1% to $26.3b, after a rise of 0.7% in November. It was 11.7% higher compared to a year ago.
  • for owner-occupier housing fell 5.6% to $16.8b but was 7.4% higher compared to a year ago
  • for investor housing fell 1.3% to $9.5b but was 20.4% higher compared to a year ago
  1. All series exclude refinancing

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of external refinancing:

  • for total housing fell 1.6% to $17.1b and was 12.1% lower compared to a year ago
  • for owner-occupier housing fell 1.4% to $11.3b and was 14.4% lower compared to a year ago
  • for investor housing fell 1.9% to $5.8b and was 7.0% lower compared to a year ago

Personal finance

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for fixed term personal finance fell 2.4%, after a fall of 6.0% in November
  • for road vehicles fell 4.9%
  • for personal investment rose 7.1%
  1. Any missing data points in the series above are not available for publication.
  1. Any missing data points in the series above are not available for publication.

Business finance

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for construction finance rose 3.3%, after a fall of 4.7% in November. In trend terms, it rose 0.9%.
  • for the purchase of property rose 1.0%, after a fall of 7.5% in November. In trend terms, it was flat.

These series can have volatile month-to-month movements in seasonally adjusted terms as they are strongly affected by small numbers of high value loans.

  1. Any missing data points in the series above are not available for publication.

Housing finance (detailed)

Value of new loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)
 Dec-2023 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier 
 Total housing (a)16.77-5.67.4
  Construction of dwellings1.64-0.5-7.4
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings0.96-2.51.9
  Purchase of existing dwellings12.89-6.69.1
 First home buyers4.87-5.521.0
Investor   
 Total housing (a)9.50-1.320.4
Number of new loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)
 Dec-2023 (No.)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier 
 Total housing (a) 
  Construction of dwellings2 8465.0-6.3
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1 585-4.9-5.4
  Purchase of existing dwellings20 921-8.26.6
 First home buyers9 491-8.412.9
Investor   
 Total housing (a) 

Housing includes loan commitments for dwellings, purchase of residential land and for alterations and additions.

  1. 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 December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • to owner occupiers fell 5.6%, after a rise of 0.3% in November
  • to investors fell 1.3%, after a rise of 1.4% in November

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for the purchase of existing dwellings fell 6.6% but was 9.1% higher compared to a year ago
  • for the construction of new dwellings fell 0.5% and was 7.4% lower compared to a year ago
  • for the purchase of new dwellings fell 2.5% but was 1.9% higher compared to a year ago
  1. For periods prior to July 2019, statistics on owner occupier commitments for residential land are modelled using data about the total value of commitments for residential land.
  2. Users can hide/unhide series in the graph by clicking the legend above (e.g. toggle the "purchase of existing dwellings" series for a closer look at the other purposes of owner occupier lending).

 

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • in New South Wales fell 4.1%, in Queensland fell 5.8%, in Victoria fell 2.6%, in South Australia fell 6.2%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 11.5%, in Western Australia fell 2.5% and in the Northern Territory fell 5.5%
  • in Tasmania rose 3.3%

The Tasmania, Northern Territory, and Australian Capital Territory series are smaller and typically more volatile.

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms for investor housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • in Queensland fell 2.8%, in New South Wales fell 0.9%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 7.3%, in South Australia fell 2.8%, in Victoria fell 0.6% and in the Northern Territory fell 19.3%
  • in Western Australia rose 5.6% and in Tasmania rose 4.6%

The Tasmania, Northern Territory, and Australian Capital Territory series are smaller and typically more volatile.

In December 2023, in original terms:

  • the value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month fell 5.3%
  • the value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month fell 1.8%
  1. 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. Due to this timing difference, the value of loans funded in the month shown in this graph will generally not reconcile with the value of new borrower-accepted commitments for the month shown in the other graphs and download tables.

In December 2023, in original terms, average loan sizes for owner-occupier dwellings (including construction, purchase of new dwellings and existing dwellings, excluding land, alterations and additions):

  • rose 2.6% at the national level from $608k to a new record high of $624k
  1. Please note that while the series graphed above are joined between the available data points, there may be missing data points in between which are not available for publication

First home buyers

In December 2023 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier first home buyers, the number of new loan commitments:

  • at the national level fell 8.4% to 9,491, after a rise of 4.0% in November. It was 12.9% higher compared to a year ago.
  • in Queensland fell 14.1%, in Victoria fell 3.7%, in Western Australia fell 6.3%, in New South Wales fell 3.7% and in the Australian Capital Territory fell 14.6%
  • in South Australia rose 2.6%, in Tasmania rose 5.6% and in the Northern Territory rose 5.8%

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.

New loan commitments to owner-occupier first home buyers (original), number
 First home buyer loan commitments
Number
First home buyer ratio
Dwellings (a)
First home buyer ratio
Housing (b)
Total Australia9 86038.0%32.6%
New South Wales2 38036.6%31.3%
Victoria3 25342.1%36.2%
Queensland1 74633.3%28.1%
South Australia69637.9%31.6%
Western Australia1 31739.3%34.1%
Tasmania15332.8%28.0%
Northern Territory7241.6%36.5%
Australian Capital Territory24338.8%35.8%

a.  Dwellings includes loan commitments for construction of dwellings, purchase of newly erected dwellings and purchase of existing dwellings.

b. Housing includes loan commitments for dwellings, purchase of residential land and for alterations and additions.

Data downloads

Housing Finance - Total

Data files

Housing Finance - Owner-occupiers

Data files

Housing Finance - Investors

Data files

Housing Finance - First home buyers

Data files