Lending To Households Down 4.4 % In December 2018

Lending To Households Down 4.4 % In December 2018

Australian Bureau Of Statistics

Lending To Households Falls 4.4 % In December

Victor P Taffa

Value of lending commitments to households fell 4.4 % in December 2018, seasonally adjusted, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Fall in lending to households in December follows a 2.4 % fall in November 2018.

“Large falls in the value of lending for owner occupier dwellings (-6.4 %) and investment dwellings (-4.6 %) drove the fall in lending commitments to households.” ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman said.

“Slowdown in lending for investor dwellings this month continues the steady decline over the past 2 years, with the value of new investor loan commitments down around 40 % from the peak at the start of 2017. The slowdown in lending for owner occupier dwellings is more recent, with falls concentrated in the last half of 2018.”

In seasonally adjusted terms, the value of lending for owner occupier dwellings excluding refinancing fell in:

  • New South Wales (-6.1 %),
  • Victoria (-6.6 %),
  • Queensland (-9.9 %),
  • Western Australia (-6.3 %),
  • Australian Capital Territory (-4.9 %),
  • Northern Territory (-18.3 %),
  • South Australia (-1.0 %).

Tasmania (4.2 %) recorded the only rise this month.

In seasonally adjusted terms, the number of loans to owner occupier first home buyers is down 12.6 % from December 2017.

While the fall in lending to first home buyers over the past year reflects the broader trend of weaker lending activity, the fall is smaller than the fall in lending to owner occupier non-first home buyers (-15.5 %) and follows strong growth in 2017.

There were also falls in the values of lending to households for personal finance (-2.9 %) and for refinancing (-3.2 %), seasonally adjusted.

In trend terms, lending to businesses fell 2.5 % in December, but is up 3.1 % from December 2017.