Lending indicators

Latest release

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

Reference period
December 2022
Released
3/02/2023
  • Next Release 3/03/2023
    Lending indicators, January 2023
  • Next Release 3/04/2023
    Lending indicators, February 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

In December 2022, new loan commitments (seasonally adjusted):

  • fell 4.3% for housing
  • fell 2.8% for personal fixed term loans
  • rose 99.4% for business construction (a typically volatile series) but fell 0.6% in trend terms
  • fell 6.1% for business purchase of property (a typically volatile series) and fell 1.4% in trend terms

Value of new borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)

   Dec-2022 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households
 Housing23.44-4.3-29.3
  Owner Occupier (a)15.55-4.2-29.8
  Investor (a)7.89-4.4-28.3
 Personal
  Fixed term loans2.15-2.80.1
Businesses
 Construction1.8599.4-20.0
 Purchase of Property5.22-6.1-27.5
  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

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.

     

Housing finance

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for total housing fell 4.3% to $23.4b, after a 4.2% fall in November. It was 29.3% lower compared to a year ago.
  • for owner-occupier housing fell 4.2% to $15.6b and was 29.8% lower compared to a year ago
  • for investor housing fell 4.4% to $7.9b and was 28.3% lower compared to a year ago
  1. All series exclude refinancing

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of external refinancing:

  • for total housing fell 1.5% but remained high at $19.1b, second only to the all-time high seen in the previous month
  • for owner-occupier housing fell 2.3% but remained high at $13.0b, second only to the all-time high seen in the previous month
  • for investor housing rose slightly by 0.4% to $6.1b

Personal finance

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for total fixed term personal finance fell 2.8%, after a fall of 2.4% in November
  • for road vehicles fell 1.6%
  • for household goods rose 0.8% to an all-time high
  • for travel and holidays rose 11.2%

Business finance

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for construction finance rose 99.4%, after a fall of 62.9% in November. In trend terms, it fell 0.6%.
  • for the purchase of property fell 6.1%, after a fall of 0.5% in November. In trend terms, it fell 1.4%.

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.

Housing finance (detailed)

Value of new loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

   Dec-2022 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier
 Total housing (a)15.55-4.2-29.8
  Construction of dwellings1.81-4.9-18.6
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings0.94-1.1-30.2
  Purchase of existing dwellings11.71-4.3-31.7
 First home buyers3.66-4.6-35.9
Investor
 Total housing (a)7.89-4.4-28.3

Number of new loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

   Dec-2022 (No.)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier
 Total housing (a)
  Construction of dwellings3 123-6.4-27.8
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1 674-0.8-30.1
  Purchase of existing dwellings19 363-5.9-30.6
 First home buyers7 646-4.2-35.9
Investor
 Total housing (a)
  1. Housing includes loan commitments for dwellings, purchase of residential land and for alterations and additions.
  2. 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 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • to owner occupiers fell 4.2%, after a fall of 4.5% in November
  • to investors fell 4.4%, after a fall of 3.5% in November

  

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • for the purchase of existing dwellings fell 4.3% and was 31.7% lower compared to a year ago
  • for the construction of new dwellings fell 4.9% and was 18.6% lower compared to a year ago
  • for the purchase of new dwellings fell 1.1% and was 30.2% lower compared to a year ago
  1. 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.
  2. 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 December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • in New South Wales fell 4.2%, in Victoria fell 3.9%, in Queensland fell 4.8%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 13.8%, in Western Australia fell 1.7% and in South Australia fell 1.8%
  • in the Northern Territory rose 4.0%
  • in Tasmania showed no change, i.e. remained at the same level as the previous month

  

In December 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for investor housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • in New South Wales fell 5.9%, in Victoria fell 5.4%, in Queensland fell 5.1% and in the Northern Territory fell 4.0%
  • in Western Australia rose 5.3%, in Tasmania (a smaller and more volatile series) rose 18.2%, in South Australia rose 2.3% and in the Australian Capital Territory rose 1.4%

In December 2022, in original terms:

  • the value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month fell 3.6%
  • the value of new variable rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month fell 1.0%
  • the value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month fell 1.2%
  • the value of new fixed rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 28.6% ($61m)
  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.
  2. Total fixed rate and total variable rate housing loans include their respective first home buyer loan components

In December 2022 in original terms, average loan sizes for owner-occupier dwellings (including construction, purchase of new dwellings and existing dwellings):

  • rose slightly at the national level from $602k to $604k
  • rose across most states and territories, most notably in Western Australia from $478k to $492k
  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 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier first home buyers, the number of new loan commitments:

  • at the national level fell 4.2% to 7,646, after a 5.4% fall in November. It was 53.1% below the January 2021 high of 16,307.
  • in Victoria fell 6.2%, in Western Australia fell 6.9%, in the Australian Capital Territory (a smaller and more volatile series) fell 17.3% and in the Northern Territory fell 5.3%
  • in New South Wales rose 1.9%, in Queensland rose 0.2%, in South Australia rose 0.4% and in Tasmania rose 1.4%

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

 First home buyer loan commitments
Number
First home buyer ratio
Dwellings (a)
First home buyer ratio
Housing (b)
Total Australia8 16931.2%26.8%
New South Wales1 91528.9%24.5%
Victoria2 53834.7%30.0%
Queensland1 69730.2%25.5%
South Australia49125.3%21.1%
Western Australia1 13633.9%30.6%
Tasmania14928.6%24.0%
Northern Territory5226.5%23.2%
Australian Capital Territory19130.0%27.6%
  1. Dwellings includes loan commitments for construction of dwellings, purchase of newly erected dwellings and purchase of existing dwellings.
  2. 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

    

Table 26. Households; Housing finance; Non-residents; New loan commitments; Numbers and values

   

Personal Finance

Data files

   

Business Finance

Data files

Data cubes

Series ID concordance mapping

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5601.0.

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