Home loan commitments remain strong despite February fall: Australia

New loan commitments for housing fell 0.4 per cent to $28.6 billion in February 2021 (seasonally adjusted). This is the first fall since May 2020, however exceptional growth in recent months saw commitments remain close to record high levels.

ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan, said: “The value of new loan commitments for owner occupier housing fell 1.8 per cent in February 2021, although it remained 55.2 per cent higher than in February 2020. The fall in February was driven by reduced loan commitments for existing dwellings, although the value of these loan commitments remained 39.7 per cent higher than in February 2020.”

“The value of loan commitments for the construction of new dwellings rose 4.4 per cent, continuing a period of record rises since July 2020. Although the HomeBuilder grant, introduced in June 2020, was reduced from 1 January 2021, it was made more widely available to borrowers in NSW and Victoria through increased price caps on new build contracts. The time taken to process home loans meant that construction loan applications made in late 2020, prior to these changes, also contributed to loan commitments reported in February.”

The value of new loan commitments for investor housing rose 4.5 per cent to $6.9 billion in February 2021 (seasonally adjusted), to be 31.6 per cent higher than in February 2020. “Investor lending continued an unbroken period of growth since reaching a 20 year low in May 2020”, Ms Keenan said.

New loan commitments, total housing (seasonally adjusted), values, Australia

Total (ex. refinancing)Owner occupier (ex. refinancing)Investor (ex. refinancing)
Feb-0311.67.0134.587
Mar-0311.5666.9274.638
Apr-0312.0177.2444.773
May-0312.3527.3634.989
Jun-0312.6227.6175.005
Jul-0313.5717.8075.764
Aug-0314.2557.9856.269
Sep-0314.2278.026.208
Oct-0314.4368.0486.388
Nov-0313.9927.8576.135
Dec-0313.2987.4595.839
Jan-0412.2846.9985.287
Feb-0412.3197.0725.247
Mar-0412.4537.1715.282
Apr-0412.4867.2415.246
May-0412.3487.2715.076
Jun-0411.8017.2564.545
Jul-0412.0167.324.696
Aug-0412.0537.3974.655
Sep-0412.2187.424.798
Oct-0411.9717.4294.542
Nov-0412.567.6824.878
Dec-0412.9147.9025.012
Jan-0513.2348.1075.127
Feb-0513.8268.4925.335
Mar-0513.5218.2345.287
Apr-0513.3098.1475.162
May-0512.687.9774.703
Jun-0512.6888.1554.534
Jul-0512.8268.0794.747
Aug-0512.878.2794.592
Sep-0513.5198.6354.884
Oct-0514.0338.7335.301
Nov-0514.0598.8575.202
Dec-0514.0588.9025.155
Jan-0614.2788.9655.313
Feb-0614.4259.1775.248
Mar-0614.5789.2995.28
Apr-0614.5099.2595.25
May-0615.4049.6425.762
Jun-0615.5449.5136.031
Jul-0615.2579.7695.487
Aug-0615.049.5195.521
Sep-0614.1659.1774.988
Oct-0614.3289.2925.036
Nov-0614.29.2284.972
Dec-0614.619.4295.181
Jan-0714.9289.5445.384
Feb-0715.3999.7665.633
Mar-0715.89710.0685.829
Apr-0716.36310.3236.041
May-0717.05210.6486.404
Jun-0718.30211.3556.947
Jul-0717.40710.7696.638
Aug-0717.39911.0196.381
Sep-0716.82910.5156.314
Oct-0716.81510.7396.077
Nov-0716.98510.6536.332
Dec-0716.55810.3716.187
Jan-0816.89710.8056.092
Feb-0815.6579.885.777
Mar-0814.5519.1385.413
Apr-0813.9048.7455.159
May-0812.9598.1684.791
Jun-0812.9638.24.764
Jul-0812.7858.1374.649
Aug-0812.6437.9794.664
Sep-0812.9768.2354.742
Oct-0813.3478.544.808
Nov-0813.0988.6054.492
Dec-0813.8869.3364.549
Jan-0914.89410.2334.66
Feb-0915.36810.7844.584
Mar-0916.70911.964.749
Apr-0917.0411.9575.083
May-0916.8511.8225.027
Jun-0917.20811.9615.248
Jul-0917.17111.7315.44
Aug-0917.35211.6445.708
Sep-0917.8812.1755.705
Oct-0917.61311.825.793
Nov-0917.07811.0915.987
Dec-0916.49810.6155.883
Jan-1015.95810.1245.834
Feb-1015.6729.7965.876
Mar-1015.529.5725.947
Apr-1015.2559.3585.897
May-1015.4259.4345.991
Jun-1015.1189.1315.987
Jul-1015.0489.2935.756
Aug-1014.6349.2335.401
Sep-1014.619.1385.472
Oct-1014.6649.1775.487
Nov-1014.7139.3235.39
Dec-1014.9999.4245.575
Jan-1114.1649.0195.145
Feb-1114.0678.8755.193
Mar-1113.6218.8254.796
Apr-1113.9989.0074.991
May-1114.2349.0795.155
Jun-1114.1339.0965.037
Jul-1114.0919.0385.052
Aug-1114.1599.0295.13
Sep-1113.9228.7825.139
Oct-1113.8658.8684.997
Nov-1114.0598.9815.078
Dec-1114.7269.4015.325
Jan-1214.7739.3965.376
Feb-1214.088.6795.401
Mar-1214.0938.7045.39
Apr-1214.3458.9255.42
May-1214.5049.1045.4
Jun-1214.7369.2495.487
Jul-1214.7699.2725.497
Aug-1214.8589.4265.432
Sep-1215.0979.4935.604
Oct-1214.8959.3795.516
Nov-1215.2139.4595.753
Dec-1215.3749.5325.842
Jan-1315.9079.8046.103
Feb-1316.159.8836.267
Mar-1316.87810.3446.534
Apr-1316.94110.3026.639
May-1317.20610.4066.8
Jun-1317.31110.4876.825
Jul-1317.44810.4966.952
Aug-1317.35810.2347.124
Sep-1318.17810.747.438
Oct-1318.6910.8937.798
Nov-1319.28211.2358.047
Dec-1319.00510.9488.057
Jan-1419.1611.1717.989
Feb-1419.40411.4587.946
Mar-1419.48811.3878.1
Apr-1419.60511.3258.28
May-1419.47111.2078.264
Jun-1419.61911.3798.24
Jul-1419.80911.2778.531
Aug-1419.60510.9548.651
Sep-1419.97911.0958.883
Oct-1420.54411.399.154
Nov-1420.15211.0449.108
Dec-1420.4611.3629.098
Jan-1520.74911.5739.176
Feb-1520.16711.3048.863
Mar-1521.26411.7329.532
Apr-1521.88911.83410.055
May-1520.23511.0839.152
Jun-1521.09511.9629.133
Jul-1521.06812.2588.81
Aug-1521.69913.2228.478
Sep-1520.91513.5317.384
Oct-1520.00313.1276.876
Nov-1519.73813.0666.672
Dec-1519.67612.9586.718
Jan-1619.15812.5526.606
Feb-1619.36212.6996.663
Mar-1619.1512.4896.661
Apr-1619.63212.7596.873
May-1619.89212.6947.198
Jun-1620.17312.6847.489
Jul-1619.98512.3847.601
Aug-1619.80312.2437.56
Sep-1620.72912.4258.304
Oct-1621.16612.5778.59
Nov-1621.60312.7638.84
Dec-1622.11413.1628.952
Jan-1722.37113.3059.066
Feb-1721.80713.1918.617
Mar-1722.64513.7768.869
Apr-1722.21413.5728.643
May-1722.29613.9548.342
Jun-1721.97413.8828.091
Jul-1722.0714.2127.858
Aug-1722.4614.5077.953
Sep-1722.03814.277.769
Oct-1721.55814.0147.545
Nov-1721.62414.1987.426
Dec-1721.29614.127.176
Jan-1821.30314.2967.007
Feb-1821.17114.1587.013
Mar-1820.54413.9566.588
Apr-1820.20813.8216.387
May-1820.55114.0986.454
Jun-1820.17113.9296.242
Jul-1820.17513.8966.279
Aug-1819.27413.2416.033
Sep-1818.75712.9215.836
Oct-1818.6512.9845.666
Nov-1817.83412.4615.372
Dec-1817.13811.9535.185
Jan-1916.90511.9035.002
Feb-1917.05312.14.953
Mar-1916.55111.7484.803
Apr-1916.55511.8254.73
May-1916.01611.3844.632
Jun-1916.59611.8944.702
Jul-1916.92512.0954.83
Aug-1917.85112.5955.256
Sep-1917.96312.9015.063
Oct-1918.40313.2555.147
Nov-1919.36213.9625.399
Dec-1919.82714.3545.472
Jan-2019.92814.5175.411
Feb-2019.25213.9835.269
Mar-2019.50314.4355.068
Apr-2018.55313.7024.851
May-2016.33212.2444.088
Jun-2017.37612.9494.427
Jul-2018.91414.334.584
Aug-2021.28816.2765.013
Sep-2022.53517.265.275
Oct-2022.68217.3895.293
Nov-2023.95618.3445.612
Dec-2026.00719.9366.071
Jan-2128.7522.1116.639
Feb-2128.63921.7036.936

The number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments fell 3.3 per cent to 16,117 in February 2021 (seasonally adjusted). This is the first fall since May 2020, however, commitments remained at historically elevated levels. Compared to February 2020, the number of owner occupier first home buyer loan commitments rose by 65.8 per cent.

A 4.9 per cent fall in New South Wales and a 2.8 per cent fall in Queensland drove the fall in owner occupier housing loan commitments nationally. All other states with the exception of the Australian Capital Territory rose, with commitments in Victoria rising 4.2 per cent.

The value of new loan commitments for fixed term personal finance rose 1.1 per cent in February 2021 (seasonally adjusted), driven by lending for personal investment which rose 26.1 per cent.

/ABS Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here.