Released today, national lending data for November indicates a market rebound.
Lending commitments rose 1.8% over November, according to the latest seasonally-adjusted data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
Total Australian housing loan commitments rose to $18.59 billion, with owner-occupiers the key driver of the rise, making up $13.35 billion of that figure.
ABS Chief Economist Bruce Hockman said loan commitments for owner occupier housing rose 1.6%, representing a record sixth straight month of growth.
“The value of new loan commitments for investor housing also rose in November, up 2.2 per cent, however, over the longer term this series remains down on recent peaks in activity," Mr Hockman said.
Westpac economists said the continued rebound in November was consistent with expectations.
"The recovery since May has been greater for the owner-occupier segment, up 20.5%, with investors up a robust 10.9%, albeit that follows a sharp correction in the investor market from early 2017," Westpac economists said.
Owner-occupier loan commitments fell in November, but the value of the loan per owner-occupier actually rose.
"The number of loans for owner-occupiers actually moved lower in the month, down 0.7%, following a revised 0.9% fall in October, to be 7.9% higher since May," Westpac said.
"Taken together, this highlights that the average loan size for owner-occupiers is rising, consistent with higher prices in the wake of lower interest rates."
Already, it's been reported that South Australia's property prices have bottomed out, with modest growth projected.
Experts are predicting that if the central bank cuts rates to 0.5% in February, lending commitments - and loan amounts - will continue to rise.
Aust housing finance commitments up solidly again in Nov, consistent with the pick up in the property mkt.— Shane Oliver (@ShaneOliverAMP) January 16, 2020
This data relates to the flow of new lending whereas credit data relates to the total stock of debt, which is lately impacted by rapid debt paydown.
(Bloomberg table) pic.twitter.com/sKSqdAyG81
Housing finance approvals continue to gather momentum as borrowers conclude that interest rates will be low for an extended period of time, it won't be surprising to see credit growth pick up a touch at this rate, and dwelling prices will no doubt continue to rise #ausbiz pic.twitter.com/sfbU30C8Rs— Alex Joiner (@IFM_Economist) January 16, 2020
Personal loans stabilising
Today's ABS data for November also indicated that personal loan commitments are stabilising, particularly for loan commitments for the purchase of road vehicles, which experienced falls in recent years.
While personal fixed term loan commitments fell 1.4% in November following a 2.2% rise in October, they were ultimately up 1.4% on November 2018.
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