Investor lending rebounds, hits new record high


Investors came back stronger in March with stronger borrowing activity that reached a new record high.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed a 2.9% monthly and 48.4% yearly growth in the value of investor housing loans.

Over the month, the value of investor loan commitments hit a new record high of $11.7bn, providing a significant boost to the overall growth in housing loan commitments.

Despite this growth in investor loans, the segment only represented 35% of the overall market, still below the peak of 46% recorded in 2015.  

Investor lending increased the highest in the Northern Territory (32.4%) and the Australian Capital Territory (14.9%).

Growth in investor lending was also witnessed in Queensland (6.7%), South Australia (8.5%), and Western Australia (5.9%).

Investor loan commitments had been increasing since November 2020 but declined in February 2022 before rebounding again in March.

Owner-occupier financing also rebounded in March, reversing its 4.7% fall in February and recording a 0.9% growth to $21.6bn.

However, owner-occupier lending remained 2.2% lower than during the same time last year.

Housing Industry Association (HIA) Economist Tom Devitt said while quarterly figures show a decline in housing loan value, the level remained strong especially compared to the same period pre-pandemic.

“The impact of yesterday’s rise in the cash rate on lending for the purchase of a home could take six months to emerge in this data set,” he said.

Mr Devitt said first-home buyers remain active in the market, despite falling from levels observed during the HomeBuilder stimulus.

“Loans to first home buyers in the first quarter of 2022 were up by a third on the equivalent quarter pre-pandemic,” he said.

“Other owner-occupiers have remained especially active in the market, with the value of loans to this demographic still almost double their pre-pandemic levels.

Photo by tierramallorca on Unsplash

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