The value of Australian home loans rose in October, with investor loans making a strong comeback

Richard Whitten 8 December 2017

Coins and statistics

The value of owner-occupied finance was flat, but investment loans rose 1.6%.

The latest release of housing finance figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows a surprising lift in the value of Australian home loans in October.

The overall growth in housing finance value was a slim 0.6% (seasonally adjusted), but this comes after a 3.6% drop the previous month.

But given the slowdown in the market, with flat or falling prices, a regulatory crackdown on interest-only lending and low auction clearance rates, this small rise comes as a surprise.

Investment lending in particular saw a sharp drop the previous month, with a staggering 6.2% decline. In October, it rose by 1.6%, beating expectations.

Finance for new owner-occupied dwellings fell 1.6%, while finance for existing dwellings fell 0.4%.

In original terms, the number of first home buyers as a share of all owner-occupied finance rose to 17.6%, up slightly from 17.4% in September.

Owner-occupied finance by state

In seasonally adjusted terms, owner-occupied finance by state rose and fell as follows:

  • NSW fell by 1.2%
  • WA fell by 0.7%
  • ACT fell by 0.6%
  • SA fell by 0.2%
  • QLD rose by 0.5%
  • TAS rose by 5.5%
  • VIC rose by 0.2%
  • NT rose by 1.5%

The data for November should give a clearer picture of the housing market's health, and it's worth keeping in mind that the ABS does revise these figures after their initial release.

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