Lending indicators

Latest release

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

Reference period
November 2022
Released
13/01/2023
  • Next Release 3/02/2023
    Lending indicators, December 2022
  • Next Release 3/03/2023
    Lending indicators, January 2023
  • Next Release 3/04/2023
    Lending indicators, February 2023
  • View all releases

Key statistics

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

  • fell 3.7% for housing
  • fell 1.3% for personal fixed term loans
  • fell 62.1% for business construction (a typically volatile series) and fell 1.7% in trend terms
  • fell 0.7% for business purchase of property (a typically volatile series) and fell 1.6% in trend terms

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

   Nov-2022 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households (a)
 Housing24.73-3.7-24.3
  Owner Occupier16.43-3.8-24.8
  Investor8.29-3.6-23.2
 Personal
  Fixed term loans2.25-1.35.8
Businesses
 Construction0.94-62.1-40.8
 Purchase of Property5.64-0.7-17.6
  1. Loan commitments for owner occupier, investor housing and personal fixed term loans exclude refinancing.

Important data quality notes

Seasonal adjustment methods

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 disruption to typical lending patterns in the wake of COVID-19 and the change to a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS annually undertakes an extensive review of its seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series. Similar reviews are regularly undertaken across the ABS economic statistics program. The last review was conducted in early April 2022 and its results were implemented in the April 2022 Lending Indicators release, with new static forward factors for the 12 months from this date being calculated through the review process.

The 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 two years, 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).

Further information can be found here:

Methods changes during the COVID-19 period

After monitoring the effects on lending patterns from COVID-19 and determining that there is no longer significant or prolonged disruption to key series, Lending Indicators reverted to the concurrent adjustment method from the October 2022 issue onwards. This change has been applied to the entirety of the relevant series, including the COVID-19 period.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure underlying behaviour in lending activity. In the short term, this measurement was significantly affected by disruption to regular lending patterns that has occurred during the COVID-19 period, for example as potential home buyers faced uncertainty about their job security. If the trend estimates in this publication had been published without fully accounting for such irregular events, they would likely have provided a misleading view of underlying lending activity. Therefore, the Lending Indicators trend series were suspended starting from March 2020.

After monitoring the effects on lending patterns from COVID-19 and determining that there is sufficient certainty in the underlying trends in lending, Lending Indicators reinstated trend data from the October 2022 issue onwards. This data has been reinstated for all the relevant series and through their entirety, including the COVID-19 period, except where it has been determined through a quality assessment that any series should remain suspended or partially suppressed.

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

  • for total housing fell 3.7% to $24.7b, following a 2.8% fall in October. It was 24.3% lower compared to a year ago.
  • for owner-occupier housing fell 3.8% to $16.4b and was 24.8% lower compared to a year ago
  • for investor housing fell 3.6% to $8.3b and was 23.2% lower compared to a year ago
  1. All series exclude refinancing

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

  • for total housing rose 8.2% to an all-time high of $19.5b. It was 20.4% higher compared to a year ago.
  • for owner-occupier housing rose 9.1% to an all-time high of $13.4b. It was 27.1% higher compared to a year ago.
  • for investor housing rose 6.3% to $6.1b and was 7.8% higher compared to a year ago

Personal finance

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

  • for fixed term personal finance fell 1.3%, after fall of 0.5% in October
  • for personal investment fell 9.3%
  • for road vehicles fell 2.9%
  • for household goods rose 5.1% to an all-time high of $154m

Business finance

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

  • for construction finance fell 62.1%, after a rise of 66.6% in October. In trend terms, it fell 1.7%.
  • for the purchase of property fell 0.7%, after a fall of 4.1% in October. In trend terms, it fell 1.6%.

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)

   Nov-2022 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier
 Total housing (a)16.43-3.8-24.8
  Construction of dwellings1.92-7.0-16.1
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings0.95-5.5-25.8
  Purchase of existing dwellings12.40-2.7-25.9
 First home buyers3.87-5.7-29.2
Investor
 Total housing (a)8.29-3.6-23.2

Number of new loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

   Nov-2022 (No.)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Owner occupier
 Total housing (a) (b)
  Construction of dwellings3 374-6.3-25.3
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1 683-8.1-25.0
  Purchase of existing dwellings20 873-0.7-24.9
 First home buyers8 023-5.5-31.3
Investor
 Total housing (a) (b)
  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 November 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms, the value of new loan commitments:

  • to owner occupiers fell 3.8%, after a fall of 3.1% in October
  • to investors fell 3.6%, after a fall of 2.3% in October

  

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

  • for the purchase of existing dwellings fell 2.7% and was 25.9% lower compared to a year ago
  • for the construction of new dwellings fell 7.0% and was 16.1% lower compared to a year ago
  • for the purchase of new dwellings fell 5.5% and was 25.8% 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 November 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier housing, the value of new loan commitments:

  • in Victoria fell 6.0%, in New South Wales fell 3.4%, in Western Australia fell 3.9%, in Queensland fell 2.1%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 5.4%, in South Australia fell 1.9%, in Tasmania fell 4.6% and in the Northern Territory fell 7.4%

  

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

  • in Victoria fell 4.5%, in New South Wales fell 2.2%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 10.5%, in South Australia fell 3.5%, in Tasmania fell 16.0%, in Queensland fell 0.7% and in the Northern Territory fell 19.0%
  • in Western Australia showed no change, i.e. remained at the same level as the previous month

In November 2022, in original terms:

  • the value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 7.2%
  • the value of new variable rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 2.7%
  • the value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 29.8%
  • the value of new fixed rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 2.4%
  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 November 2022 in original terms, average loan sizes for owner-occupier dwellings (including construction, purchase of new dwellings and existing dwellings):

  • rose at the national level from $595k to $602k
  • rose across most states, most notably in the Australian Capital Territory from $612k to $637k
  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 November 2022 in seasonally adjusted terms for owner-occupier first home buyers, the number of new loan commitments:

  • at the national level fell 5.5% to 8,023, following a 3.3% fall in October. The November level was 50.7% below the January 2021 high of 16,261.
  • in Victoria fell 6.1%, in New South Wales fell 5.9%, in Queensland fell 5.1%, in Western Australia fell 5.7%, in the Australian Capital Territory fell 16.3%, in South Australia fell 3.9% and in the Northern Territory fell 14.9%
  • in Tasmania rose 16.4%

The Tasmania, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory series are smaller and can have more volatile month-to-month movements.

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 88931.6%27.0%
New South Wales1 96927.2%23.2%
Victoria2 74836.3%31.0%
Queensland1 87930.0%25.2%
South Australia49825.8%21.4%
Western Australia1 34136.7%32.8%
Tasmania15728.6%23.9%
Northern Territory7231.2%28.8%
Australian Capital Territory22530.7%28.0%
  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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