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Lending indicators

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

Reference period
March 2020
Released
6/05/2020

Key statistics

New loan commitments (seasonally adjusted):

  • rose 0.2% for housing
  • fell 8.2% for personal fixed term loans
  • rose 35.7% for business construction (typically volatile series).

Data quality note

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. 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.

Please note that specific data quality issues have been identified with the reporting of detailed housing loan purpose categories, particularly for loan commitments for the purchase of newly erected dwellings. Some loan commitments for the purchase of existing dwellings are being incorrectly reported as being for the purchase of newly erected dwellings. The magnitude of misreporting for this issue is still being investigated.

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.

Managing the impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on loan commitments statistics

The ABS is currently monitoring for potential impacts from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on loan commitments statistics and will continue to do so for the period of the pandemic.

There were no obvious impacts on housing or business loan commitments statistics. This is largely due to the time it takes for financing to progress to the loan commitment stage. For example, for housing, March loan commitments largely reflected loan applications submitted in February or the first half of March before major restrictions were introduced. The fall in loan commitments for personal finance was likely due to COVID-19 impacts and reflects the shorter approval process for this category of lending.

The ABS and APRA are also actively managing the potential risks from COVID-19 to data collection operations. The ABS appreciates the support of APRA and lending institutions in continuing to provide the data used to compile this publication.

Suspension of trend series

The trend series attempts to measure the underlying behaviour of lending activity. The significant and wide-ranging impacts of COVID-19 on the Australian economy are expected to disrupt normal patterns of lending to the extent that trend calculations, which require time to adjust for trend shifts of this magnitude, would likely provide an inaccurate view of underlying lending activity.

Therefore the decision has been made to suspend trend series in this publication as of March 2020. These series will be reinstated once the underlying changes in the pattern of lending activity become clearer.

New loan commitments

 March 2020Month percent changeYear percent change
   $b%%
Seasonally adjusted
Households   
 Housing
19.45
0.2
17.5
  Owner occupier (a)
14.34
1.2
22.5
  Investor (a)
5.10
-2.5
5.3
 Personal
 
 
 
  Fixed term loans
1.66
-8.2
0.5
Businesses
 
 
 
 Construction
3.18
35.7
44.8
 Purchase of property
4.81
-8.2
-16.6
a. Loan commitments for owner occupier and investor housing exclude refinancing.

 

Key graphs

The value of new lending commitments for housing remained relatively stable despite COVID-19 restrictions

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Fixed term loan commitments for personal finance displayed the largest monthly fall since November 2008

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Business finance for construction rose for the second consecutive month in seasonally adjusted terms, while purchase of property declined

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Housing

   Seasonally adjusted
New loan commitments by purposeMarch 2020Month percent changeYear percent change
    %%
 Value ($b)
Owner occupier   
 Total housing (a)
14.34
1.2
22.5
  Construction of dwellings
1.42
-4.4
9.0
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings
1.76
0.6
45.1
  Purchase of existing dwellings
10.18
2.4
20.8
 First home buyers
4.21
2.5
39.5
Investor
 
 
 
 Total housing (a)
5.10
-2.5
5.3
 
Number
Owner occupier   
 Total housing (a) (b)
-
-
-
  Construction of dwellings
3 146
-3.6
-5.8
  Purchase of newly erected dwellings
3 467
-4.5
26.2
  Purchase of existing dwellings
19 895
0.2
0.7
 First home buyers
9 841
1.3
21.3
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.
 


The value of new loan commitments for owner occupier housing has grown in ten of the last twelve months

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The purchase of existing dwellings drove the rise in the value of owner occupier loan commitments

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The rise in owner occupier commitments was concentrated in New South Wales during March 2020

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Falls in new loan commitments for investors were seen across all states and territories, apart from SA and ACT

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Loan commitments to investors remain lower than owner occupiers for all major categories

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First home buyers

In March 2020:

  • the number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments increased 1.3% in seasonally adjusted terms
  • the number of first home buyer loan commitments for investment purposes accounted for 4.2% of all first home buyer commitments, in original terms
  • owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments accounted for 31.8% of all owner occupier commitments (excluding refinancing), in original terms


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.
 

  Original
New loan commitments to owner occupier first home buyers (number)First home buyer loan commitmentsFirst home buyer ratioFirst home buyer ratio
Number (a)Dwellings (b)Housing (c)
Total Australia
9 890
36.6%
31.8%
 New South Wales
2 617
33.8%
29.5%
 Victoria
2 981
41.2%
34.7%
 Queensland
1 963
34.0%
29.9%
 South Australia
 524
25.9%
22.8%
 Western Australia
1 272
46.1%
41.5%
 Tasmania
 205
33.1%
26.6%
 Northern Territory
 89
50.3%
46.8%
 Australian Capital Territory
 239
33.9%
31.1%
a. Number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments includes purchase of residential land.
b. Number of owner occupier first home buyers as a percentage of total owner occupier dwelling commitments by state.
c. Number of owner occupier first home buyers as a percentage of total owner occupied housing commitments by state.

 

The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments is up 24.7% from the most recent low point in December 2018

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March's rise in new commitments to owner occupier first home buyers was largely concentrated in New South Wales

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*Investor first home buyers(number) for Tas and NT are not available for publication

Data downloads - time series spreadsheets

Table 1. Households ; housing finance ; total housing ; by property purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 2. Households ; housing finance ; total housing ; by property purpose ; by lender type ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 3. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 4. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; total housing excluding refinancing ; by state ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 5. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; New South Wales ; numbers and values

Table 6. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Victoria ; numbers and values

Table 7. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Queensland ; numbers and values

Table 8. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; South Australia ; numbers and values

Table 9. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Western Australia ; numbers and values

Table 10. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Tasmania ; numbers and values

Table 11. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Northern Territory ; numbers and values

Table 12. Households ; housing finance ; owner occupiers ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Australian Capital Territory ; numbers and values

Table 13. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 14. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; total housing excluding refinancing ; by state ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 15. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; New South Wales ; numbers and values

Table 16. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Victoria ; numbers and values

Table 17. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Queensland ; numbers and values

Table 18. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; South Australia ; numbers and values

Table 19. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Western Australia ; numbers and values

Table 20. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Tasmania ; numbers and values

Table 21. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Northern Territory ; numbers and values

Table 22. Households ; housing finance ; investors ; by detailed purpose ; new loan commitments ; Australian Capital Territory ; numbers and values

Table 23. Households ; housing finance ; first home buyers ; by state ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 24. Households ; housing finance ; first home buyers ; owner occupiers ; by state ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 25. Households ; housing finance ; first home buyers ; investors ; by state ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 26. Households ; housing finance ; non-residents ; new loan commitments ; numbers and values

Table 27. Households ; personal finance ; fixed term loans ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 28. Households ; personal finance ; revolving credit ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 29. Businesses ; business finance ; finance leases ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 30. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 31. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; small business size ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 32. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; small business size ; by state ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 33. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; medium business size ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 34. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; medium business size ; by State ; new loan commitments ; values

Table 35. Businesses ; business finance ; fixed term loans ; large business size ; by purpose ; new loan commitments ; values

All time series spreadsheets

Data downloads - data cubes

Series ID concordance mapping