Lending indicators December 2020 ABS
New loan commitments, total housing (seasonally adjusted), values, Australia. Image: Australian Bureau of Statistics, leading indicators December 2020
  • Latest ABS data shows continued record high for loan commitments
  • REIA President says the data reaffirms his position that the housing market remains resilient going into 2021

Reporting on The Property Tribune from last week, November data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed borrower-accepted finance commitments for housing loans showed the value of new loan commitments for housing grew and reached a record high.

Now the latest statistics for December released by the ABS today show loan commitment values continue to break new records.

“Rises were seen in six of the states and territories except for South Australia and the Northern Territory, with Victorian commitments increasing by 20.1 percent,” said Adrian Kelly, President of the Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA).

The value of new owner-occupier home loan commitments rose 8.7% to $19.9 billion in December 2020, 38.9% higher than December 2019.

Loan commitments for existing dwellings accounted for 53% of December’s rise in owner-occupier housing loan commitments, while construction of new dwellings accounted for 32%.

The value of loan commitments to investors also increased by 8.2% for the month. Mr Kelly attributes this to improving rental market conditions across most capital cities, despite rent freezes remaining in place for existing tenants in some states and territories.

The total value of loan commitments rose 8.6% to $26 billion, a 31.2% increase on December 2019 (seasonally adjusted).

Mr Kelly concludes that the December lending figures reaffirm the resilience of the housing market throughout 2020 and point to a buoyant outlook with investors, first home buyers, and owner-occupiers all active in the market.

“The figures are of no surprise to us as they support what our members were experiencing “on the ground” during 2020 which were completely at odds to some of the negative forecasting that was taking place.”

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