Latest release

Lending indicators

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

Reference period
March 2021
Released
4/05/2021
Future releases
  • Next Release 4/06/2021
    Lending indicators, April 2021
  • Next Release 2/07/2021
    Lending indicators, May 2021
  • Next Release 3/08/2021
    Lending indicators, June 2021
  • View all releases

Key statistics

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

  • rose 5.5 per cent for housing
  • rose 2.1 per cent for personal fixed term loans
  • rose 6.7 per cent for business construction (typically a volatile series)

New borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)

Mar-21 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households   
 Housing30.235.555.3
  Owner occupier (a)22.413.355.6
  Investor (a)7.8112.754.3
 Personal   
  Fixed term loans1.842.113.9
Businesses   
 Construction2.796.7-12.5
 Purchase of property5.1411.310.0

(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 - see below for further details.

Revisions

This month's release includes revisions to previously published statistics arising from improved reporting by lenders. Revisions affect the period from January 2020 to February 2021 and primarily impact refinancing statistics, particularly external refinancing for housing loan commitments in mid-2020. These revisions do not change the main narratives for Lending Indicators across the timeseries.

Upcoming seasonal adjustment changes

Review of seasonal adjustment factors

Lending Indicators normally uses the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, resulting in seasonal factors being re-estimated with each new data point. As communicated in the Lending Indicators April 2020 release, to ensure the non-seasonal effects of COVID-19 do not affect the seasonally adjusted series, fixed forward factors have been adopted since the April 2020 reference period. All seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series were moved to forward factors.

Further information can be found here:

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

As part of the Annual Seasonal Adjustment review process next month, all seasonally adjusted time series will be individually assessed to determine how each observation from the previous year should be treated for estimation of seasonal factors for seasonally adjusting the series. This process ensures that any disruption to series caused by COVID-19 do not unduly affect the seasonal factors.

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.  New forward factors will be calculated as part of the Annual Seasonal Adjustment review process and used from the April 2021 publication.

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.

Current seasonal adjustment methods

Lending Indicators uses the concurrent seasonal adjustment method, meaning that seasonal factors are re-estimated each time a new data point becomes available. If not appropriately accounted for, unusual real-world events, such as COVID-19, can distort estimates calculated using this method. From April 2020, seasonal factors are being calculated using data up to and including March 2020, then projected from April 2020 onwards. This approach, known as the forward factor method, ensures that the seasonal factors are not distorted by COVID-19 impacts.

     

Housing finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for housing rose 5.5 per cent, a 55.3 per cent rise through the year
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 3.3 per cent, a 55.6 per cent rise through the year
  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 12.7 per cent, a 54.3 per cent rise through the year
Download

  

Personal finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal lending rose 2.1 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for road vehicles rose 4.5 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for personal investment fell 16.5 per cent
Download
Download

  

Business finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for construction rose 6.7 per cent
  • The value of new loan commitments for purchase of property rose 11.3 per cent
Download

Housing finance (detailed)

New loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

Mar-2021Month percent changeYear percent change
Value($b)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a)22.413.355.6
  Construction of dwellings3.64-14.5123.6
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1.607.846.6
  Purchase of existing dwellings15.528.845.2
      First home buyers6.82-0.961.4
 Investor   
      Total housing (a)7.8112.754.3
Number(No.)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a) (b)---
  Construction of dwellings 8 272-18.1129.9
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings 3 0818.045.1
  Purchase of existing dwellings28 5497.739.1
      First home buyers15 623-3.158.3
 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 March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 3.3 per cent, to be 55.6 per cent higher than in March 2020. This followed a fall of 1.8 per cent in February 2020.
  • The value of new loan commitments for investor housing rose 12.7 per cent, to be 54.3 per cent higher than in March 2020. This continued a period of rises since May 2020 when it reached a 20 year low.
Download

  

In seasonally adjusted terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings rose 8.8 per cent, to be 45.2 per cent higher than in March 2020
  • The value of new loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings fell 14.5 per cent, the first fall since June 2020. It remains at historically high levels and is 123.6 per cent higher than in March 2020.
  • The Homebuilder grant (introduced in June 2020) was reduced from $25k to $15k effective from 1 January 2021
  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of new dwellings rose 7.8 per cent
Download

(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 March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 8.2 per cent in New South Wales
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers also rose 1.6 per cent in Victoria and 1.1 per cent in Queensland
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers fell 6.5 per cent in Western Australia and 2.8 per cent in South Australia
Download

  

In seasonally adjusted terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose across all states except the Australian Capital Territory
  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 13.0 per cent in New South Wales, 13.7 per cent in Victoria and 19.0 per cent in Queensland
Download

  

In original terms, in March 2021:

  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 19.3 per cent
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 34.5 per cent
  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 12.2 per cent
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 34.0 per cent
Download

*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 March 2021:

  • The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments decreased 3.1 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms

  • The number of first home buyer loan commitments for investment purposes accounted for 5.1 per cent of all first home buyer commitments, in original terms

  • Owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments accounted for 33.7 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

 First home buyer loan commitmentsFirst home buyer ratioFirst home buyer ratio
 NumberDwellingsHousing
Total Australia16 20038.8%33.7%
 New South Wales 3 73335.4%30.4%
 Victoria 4 62341.5%35.4%
 Queensland 3 43736.6%32.2%
 South Australia 1 07234.3%29.6%
 Western Australia 2 57946.9%42.5%
 Tasmania 27733.5%27.2%
 Northern Territory 13145.0%41.6%
 Australian Capital Territory 34838.2%33.8%
Download

  

Download

Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

Series ID concordance mapping

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5601.0.