The value of Australian housing loans grew in July 2017: ABS

Richard Whitten 14 September 2017

Man at desk with statistics

Loans for owner-occupiers drove a 0.1% increase in Australian housing finance while investment lending fell.

The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show a modest rise in housing finance commitments in July, with owner-occupied loans contributing most of the growth.

The total value of dwelling commitments reached $33 billion (trend estimate) in July, which is a 0.1% increase compared to the previous month.

In trend terms (the most accurate measurement recommended by the ABS), owner-occupied lending increased by 1.7% or $153 million. Owner-occupied finance grew in most sectors: purchase of new dwelling, established dwellings and construction of dwellings.

Investment lending, however, fell by 1.0% ($121 million) in July across all sectors.

Owner-occupied finance: a closer look

The 0.6% rise in owner-occupied lending in July follows on from a 0.5% increase in June.

Key observations from the ABS figures include the following:

  • The average loan size for all owner-occupiers fell $5,000 to $370,500.
  • The average first home buyer's loan grew $4,000 to $321,800.
  • Purchase of new dwellings rose 2.0% for owner-occupiers.
  • Construction of new dwellings for owner-occupiers rose 2.0%.
  • Loans for refinancing owner-occupiers fell 1.0% in July.

Bank and non-bank lending

Owner-occupier lending increased for both bank and non-bank lending in July.

  • Bank lending for owner-occupier loans grew 0.6%.
  • Non-bank lending grew 0.7%.

Outstanding home loan debt continues to rise

The ABS also reported a rise in the value of outstanding housing loans (how much is owed by Australian borrowers) in July 2017.

  • The value of outstanding housing loans financed by non-banks rose by $6 billion to $1,613 billion.
  • For housing loans issued by banks, the outstanding value rose $5 billion, to a total of $1,052 billion.

While the overall growth in housing finance was only 0.1% for July, dwelling approvals increased by 0.7% in the same period.

If you're looking for advice on how much you should borrow for a home loan, you can check out our guide to what's affordable.

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