Lending rises for owner-occupiers, investors, and refinancing also lifts in November 2023
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  • The number of new owner-occupier loan commitments rose 7.3% in the year to November 2023.
  • New investor loans rose 1.9% in November, and 18% year on year.
  • Refinancing rose 4.2% for the month.

The size of new home loans is on the rise, with the value of new owner-occupier loans recording a double-digit rise of 10.1% through the year to November 2023, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The number of loans also rose in the same period, up 7.3%.

“November saw continued growth in the value and number of new owner-occupier dwelling loan commitments, which rose 0.1 per cent and 1.0 per cent in the month respectively,” said ABS head of finance statistics, Mish Tan.

Oxford Economics Australia senior economist, Maree Kilroy, observed that:

“Following a strong October result, both owner-occupier and investor loans increased by a softer margin at 0.5% and 1.9% respectively.”

According to the ABS’ latest lending indicators, the total new investor loan commitments rose 1.9% in November and was 18% higher than a year ago.

“The growth in owner-occupier and investor lending seen through 2023 was driven by the three states with the largest populations. For both owner-occupiers and investors, New South Wales saw the most growth,” Dr Tan said.

On the first home buyer front, ABS data showed that the number of new owner-occupier FHB loan commitments rose 3.5% in November 2023, and was 20.3% higher compared to a year ago. The value of the commitments was up 2.8% for the month and is up 25.8% year on year.

Refinancing was also on the rise, with a monthly uptick of 4.2% to 21,482. ABS noted the record high was previously recorded in July 2023, with 28,132 home loans refinanced.

Notably, the ABS highlighted that the November 2023 levels of refinancing are close to those seen in March 2022, just before the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) began its rate rises.

Varied performance among the states

“Reflecting the growing divergence in market performances, Queensland, South Australia, and Western Australia all reached new record highs in their average loan size,” said Kilroy.

“Queensland reached $557,510, South Australia $510,057 and Western Australia $497,275 in average loan size.

“Following the rebound over 2023, we expect 2024 will be a softer year with home prices increasing a more muted 2.7% nationally.

“Units are expected to outpace houses as affordability pressures, migration patterns, and weak apartment completion volumes intensify competition in the city apartment markets.

“While Sydney and Melbourne are expected to record relatively softer growth, Perth is well-equipped to lead the pack as the city develops a more sizeable dwelling stock deficiency.”

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