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Lending indicators

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

Reference period
May 2021
Released
2/07/2021

Key statistics

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

  • rose 4.9% for housing
  • rose 5.6% for personal fixed term loans
  • fell 0.5% for business construction (typically a volatile series)

New borrower-accepted loan commitments (seasonally adjusted)

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May-21 ($b)Month percent change (%)Year percent change (%)
Households   
 Housing32.564.995.4
  Owner occupier (a)23.441.988.4
  Investor (a)9.1313.3116.0
 Personal   
  Fixed term loans1.995.642.2
Businesses   
 Construction2.36-0.516.5
 Purchase of property4.80-27.013.1

(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.

Seasonal adjustment methods

Recent review of seasonal adjustment factors

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 the disruption to the lending market during the COVID-19 period and the continuing use of a forward factors approach to seasonal adjustment, the ABS recently undertook an extensive annual review of its seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series. This review followed similar reviews that are progressively being undertaken across the ABS economic statistics program. The results of the Lending Indicators review were implemented in the April 2021 release.

Static forward factors for the next 12 months were calculated through the review process and were used in the April 2021 release.

Further information can be found here:

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

All seasonally adjusted Lending Indicators series will continue to use the forward factors method for the foreseeable future and are expected to return to using concurrent adjustment when the risk of disruption from COVID-19 becomes sufficiently low. 

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.

     

Housing finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for housing rose 4.9%
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 1.9%
  • The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 13.3%
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Personal finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal lending rose 5.6%
  • The value of new loan commitments for road vehicles rose 4.7%
  • The value of new loan commitments for personal investment rose 11.6%
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Business finance

In seasonally adjusted terms, in May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for construction fell 0.5%
  • The value of new loan commitments for purchase of property fell 27.0%
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Housing finance (detailed)

New loan commitments by purpose (seasonally adjusted)

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May-2021Month percent changeYear percent change
Value($b)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a)23.441.988.4
  Construction of dwellings3.13-2.388.5
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings1.561.045.1
  Purchase of existing dwellings17.203.695.4
      First home buyers6.852.581.8
 Investor   
      Total housing (a)9.1313.3116.0
Number(No.)(%)(%)
 Owner occupier   
      Total housing (a) (b)---
  Construction of dwellings 6 938-5.489.6
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings 2 886-0.932.2
  Purchase of existing dwellings29 5362.579.8
      First home buyers15 050-0.873.2
 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 May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for investor housing rose 13.3%. This was a rise of 116.0% since May 2020 when new loan commitments fell to their lowest point since November 2002.
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 1.9% to reach another all-time high in the series
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In seasonally adjusted terms for owner occupier housing, in May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings rose 3.6%
  • The value of new loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings fell 2.3%, the third consecutive month of falls. The HomeBuilder Grant (introduced in June 2020) was reduced from $25k to $15k effective from 1 January 2021 and was closed to new applications from 14 April 2021.
  • The value of new loan commitments for the purchase of new dwellings rose 1.0%
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(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 May 2021:

  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers rose 3.8% in New South Wales, 1.8% in Victoria and 6.1% in Western Australia
  • The value of new loan commitments to owner occupiers fell 4.5% in Queensland and 3.6% in South Australia
  • All states and territories that rose were driven by new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings
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In seasonally adjusted terms, in May 2021:

  • The rise in the value of new loan commitments for investor housing was concentrated in New South Wales and Victoria, which rose 12.1% and 17.4% respectively
  • Both New South Wales and Victoria saw significant rises in the value of new loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings
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In original terms, in May 2021:

  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 4.2%
  • The value of new variable rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month fell 4.8%
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments funded in the month rose 11.8%
  • The value of new fixed rate loan commitments to first home buyers funded in the month rose 3.9%
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*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 May 2021:

  • The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments fell 0.8% in seasonally adjusted terms, though it remains at historically high levels particularly in New South Wales and Victoria. The cessation of the HomeBuilder grant and other state government initiatives have influenced falls in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia.

  • Owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments accounted for 32.7% 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

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 First home buyer loan commitmentsFirst home buyer ratioFirst home buyer ratio
 NumberDwellingsHousing
Total Australia14 72537.6%32.7%
 New South Wales 3 45433.8%29.3%
 Victoria 4 72941.3%35.8%
 Queensland 2 76035.2%30.7%
 South Australia 89532.3%27.3%
 Western Australia 2 20845.2%40.7%
 Tasmania 25435.1%28.8%
 Northern Territory 11037.2%33.4%
 Australian Capital Territory 31534.0%29.1%
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Data downloads

Time series spreadsheets

Data files

Data cubes

Series ID concordance mapping

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 5601.0.