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New loan commitments for housing declined in February


The value of new loan commitments for housing fell 1.7 per cent in February, seasonally adjusted, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman, said: “February’s fall in the value of new loan commitments for housing follows considerable growth in the series from mid-2019 onwards. New loan commitments for both owner occupier housing and investor housing were down this month, falling 1.7 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively.”

The number of new loan commitments for owner occupier first home buyers rose 0.4 per cent in February following January’s rise of 0.5 per cent. The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments were up 19.4 per cent on February 2019 with increases for all but two months over the year.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance fell 0.5 per cent in February following a 2.1 per cent rise in January and were up 10.1 per cent on February 2019.

In trend terms, the value of new loan commitments to businesses for construction fell 1.6 per cent in February, while the value of new loan commitments to businesses for the purchase of property rose 1.3 per cent.

There was no notable impact of the COVID-19 virus on new lending commitments for February 2020. The reference period for Lending Indicators fell at a point where there was only a relatively low number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within Australia and before it was declared a global pandemic. The ABS appreciates the support of APRA and lending institutions in continuing to provide the data used to compile this publication.

More information is available in Lending Indicators, Australia (cat no. 5601.0).

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