Investment Property Lending Slides

The final release from the ABS on Lending Finance to December 2017 really underscores the slowing momentum in investment property lending, especially in Sydney (though it is still a significant slug of new finance, and there is no justification to ease the current regulatory requirements.)

The ABS says the total value of owner occupied housing commitments excluding alterations and additions rose 0.1% in trend terms, total personal finance commitments fell 0.2%. Revolving credit commitments fell 1.4%, while fixed lending commitments rose 0.5%.

The trend series for the value of total commercial finance commitments rose 0.2%. Fixed lending commitments rose 0.3%, while revolving credit commitments fell 0.3%.

The trend series for the value of total lease finance commitments fell 0.1% in December 2017 and the seasonally adjusted series rose 8.3%, after a fall of 7.6% in November 2017.

The mix of commercial lending tilted away from investment lending and towards other commercial purposes at 64%.

This is demonstrated by the monthly changes in flows, as shown below, with a 0.8% rise in other commercial lending, and a 0.5% fall in investment housing lending.

There was a small rise in lending for housing construction, but overall mortgage momentum looks like it is still slowing.

The ABS notes:

A new publication will soon be released which will see Housing Finance, Australia (5609.0) and Lending Finance, Australia (5671.0) combined into a single, simpler publication called Lending to Households and Businesses, Australia (5601.0).

To enable users to prepare for the new publication, tables of data in the new publication format will be released no less than one month prior to the first release of Lending to Households and Businesses, Australia (5601.0).


In this issue, revisions have been made to the original series as a result of improved reporting of survey and administrative data. These revisions have affected the following series:

  • Commercial Finance for the periods September 2017 and October 2017.
  • Personal Finance for the period November 2017.
  • Investment housing finance for the period October 2017.

Author: Martin North

Martin North is the Principal of Digital Finance Analytics

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