Lending for property investment saw a staggering 6.2% drop in September (ABS finance data)

Richard Whitten 9 November 2017 NEWS

Big drops on the graph

The value of housing finance dropped 3.6% across all sectors, with investor lending leading the decline.

In the Australian Bureau of Statistic's most recent housing finance data, both the overall value and number of Australia's housing finance commitments fell in September. It's another sign that the Australian property market may finally be slowing down.

Investor lending saw the biggest decline, with a 6.2% drop from August 2017. In dollar terms the value of investment loans dropped from $12.127 billion to finish at $11.837 billion. This is entirely unsurprising, given the recent tightening of investment lending conditions.

Housing commitments for owner-occupiers declined in value by 2.1% and in number by 2.3%. The total fall in the value of home lending dropped 3.6% in seasonally adjusted terms.

In numerical terms lending volume fell 2.6% for both construction of dwellings and purchase of established dwellings. The only positive movement was in the purchase of new dwellings, which recorded a rise of 1.8%.

While first home buyer lending fell compared to August it fell by less than non-first home buyer commitments. In other words, first home buyers took out a larger portion of Australian home loans. This could be taken as further evidence of property prices cooling: with lower prices and a fall in investment lending, first home buyers are seizing a chance to jump into the market.

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