Home loan lending slides in March

author-avatar By on May 13,2019
Home loan lending slides in March

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

Australian home loan lending fell again in March, despite property price falls in recent months.

Lending to both investors and owner-occupiers fell, although the fall in lending to owner-occupier first home buyers was much less than the drop in lending to owner-occupier non-first home buyers.

According to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the total value of new loans fell 3.7% (in seasonally adjusted figures), following a 2.2% rise in February.

ABS Chief Economist, Bruce Hockman said “all components of new lending to households were weaker in March, more than offsetting a bounce in lending activity seen in February”.

“There were large falls in the value of lending for owner occupier dwellings in seasonally adjusted terms in both New South Wales (-5.7%) and Queensland (-5.3 %) in March, after rises in both states the previous month,” he said.

At a national level, the number of loans to owner occupier first home buyers fell -0.5% in March, and -10.3% from last year .

Mr Hockman said the value of new loans to investors also dropped, falling by 2.7%.

“Nationally, lending for investment dwellings also contracted further in March, with the series down 25.9% compared to March 2018. The level of new lending for investment dwellings is at its lowest level since March 2011,” he said.

Lending to households for personal finance, which includes car loans and personal loans, fell 11.2% in March.

J.P Morgan economist Tom Kennedy expects lending to continue falling.

“We expect (lending to both owner-occupiers and investors) to remain under pressure as more stringent lending standards make it harder to secure financing, while falling house prices and historically low rental yields limit the appeal of the asset class in general,” he said.

Westpac senior economist, Matthew Hassan said the March update was “weaker than expected”.

“Whereas the February report had suggested markets were finding a base, the March update clearly undermines that view,” he said.

“It (the March update) was disappointing given the improved tone from the auction market activity and an apparent slowing in price declines in recent months.”

But other economists, like National Australia Bank’s Kaixin Owyong, believe the unexpected lift in February was an aberration rather than the start of a new trend.

“There is little sign of stabilisation in the numbers and home loan approvals. The outlook remains for a continued downtrend, particularly for investor lending,” he said.

Latest Articles

Emma joined Savings.com.au as a Finance Journalist in 2019. She is a journalist with more than five years experience across print, broadcast and digital media, with previous stints at Style Magazines, 4ZZZ radio, and as editor of The Real Estate Conversation. She's most passionate about improving the financial literacy of young women and millennials by writing about complex financial topics in a way that's easy for the average Joe (or Jill) to understand. When she's not writing about finance she's watching Greys Anatomy (again).


Get free insights & tips monthly

By subscribing you agree to the Savings Privacy Policy

Loading data please wait...



Current Rate

{{returnData.currentRate | percentage:2}}

Comparison Rate*

{{returnData.comparisonRate | percentage:2}}

Rate Type


Advertised Rate


Comparison Rate*


Monthly Repayment


Interest Type


Total Interest Rate

{{returnData.totalInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Base Interest Rate

{{returnData.baseInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Bonus Interest Rate

{{returnData.bonusInterestRate | percentage:2}}



Advertised Interest Rate

{{returnData.advertisedInterestRate | percentage:2}}

Interest Frequency


Fees and Features

Ongoing Annualised Fee


Upfront Fee


Offset Account


Principal & Interest

Interest Only


Max loan to value ratio (LVR)

{{returnData.maxLVR | percentage:0}}

Lump sum repayments


Additional repayments

Maximum Loan Term


Upfront Fee


Ongoing Monthly Fee


Early Repayment Fee Applies


Vehicle Types


Maximum Vehicle Age


Pre Approval Available


Online Application


Account Keeping Fee


Minimum Monthly Deposit


Linked Account Required


Interest Calculated


Interest Paid


Online Application






Minimum Deposit

{{returnData.minDeposit | currency : '$' : 0}}

Upfront Fees

{{returnData.upfrontFee | currency : '$' : 0}}

Annual Fees

{{returnData.annualFee | currency : '$' : 0}}

Notice Period to Withdraw


Online Application


Automatic Rollover


Maturity Alert