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Latest ABS housing finance figures show mixed results, slow growth in January 2018

Posted: 13 March 2018 1:55 pm

An image of stacked coins and high buildings.

The number of dwelling commitments for owner-occupiers fell 1.1%.

The latest ABS housing finance figures released today show the value of housing finance commitments rose in January 2018 while the number of commitments fell for the most part.

The total value of Australian dwelling commitments rose 0.7% in seasonally adjusted terms compared to December 2017. Owner-occupied housing finance rose 0.5% while investment finance rose 1.1%.

But the number of dwelling commitments fell across most dwelling types.

  • Purchase of new dwellings fell 4.7%.
  • Purchase of established dwellings fell 1.5%.
  • Owner-occupied housing commitments in total fell 1.1%.

However, commitments for housing construction rose 3.1% in seasonally adjusted terms. Refinance commitments for owner-occupied housing rose 0.3% in seasonally adjusted terms.

Owner-occupier borrowing by state

At a state level in seasonally-adjusted terms, January saw a decline in the number of owner-occupier commitments in all but two states.


  • NSW: -1.0%
  • WA: -2.8%
  • SA: -2.5%
  • QLD: -0.6%
  • ACT: -1.4%
  • TAS: -0.6%


  • VIC: 0.7%
  • NT: 5.3%

First home buyers

While it's harder to evaluate data for first home buyers, it looks like numbers are up. In original terms, first home buyer commitments for owner-occupied loans rose slightly from 17.9% of the market to 18.0%, month on month. This rise comes despite further falls in housing affordability.

The average first home buyer loan size for the month was $327,400, down $7,300. The overall average loan size for owner occupiers fell $4,300 down to $389,000.

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