The value of house loan commitments climbed in November, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
As a result, all states and territories saw an increase in house loan commitments, with the exception of Western Australia, as the average loan amount topped $596,000 nationally.
The value of new house loan agreements rose 6.3% to $31.4 billion in November from a sluggish start to the year, according to ABS. Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) increased the serviceability buffer for lenders from 2.5 percent to 3 percent at the same time.
According to Katherine Keenan, ABS’s head of finance and wealth, the 7.6 percent hike was the first since May 2021 and the greatest since January of that year.
CBA analyst Kristina Clifton told Australian Financial Review that the move was “surprising” in light of recent increases in fixed loan rates by several major banks.
With 9.7% and 9.6% rises, Victoria and New South Wales saw the greatest growth in owner-occupier loan commitments. It’s only now, after several months of lockdown, that these states’ restrictions can be relaxed. Borrowers’ fears about buying a home were allayed by the resurgence of in-person auctions and inspections.
First-time purchasers, who were the most affected by APRA’s ruling, were in a different scenario. Only 35% of all owner-occupier loans were made to first-time buyers before the serviceability buffer was implemented in August; that percentage has continued to fall since then.
A 17.4 percent drop in new loan commitments was recorded despite the fact that its values finally halted their downward trend in November.
There were new loan pledges from investors totaling $10.1 billion, which represents an increase of 3.8%.
Since November 2021, “investor financing has expanded, accounting for approximately one-third of the new home loan commitments,” stated Keenan. “At its peak in April 2015, investor funding accounted for 46% of new housing loan commitments.”