ABS lending indicator data released Monday revealed the value of new home loan commitments fell 0.9% in February 2023, with new home loans written in the month amounting to $22.6 billion.

This marks the 13th consecutive month of declines.

The value of total new owner-occupier loan commitments fell 1.2% to $15 billion, while new investor loan commitments fell 0.5% to $7.6 billion.

“Housing finance continued to decline from the record highs in January 2022, with the total value of new loan commitments falling 33 per cent since then,” said Dane Mead, ABS Head of Finance and Wealth.

The average loan size for owner occupiers decreased from last month, now at $586,000.

However, this remains 22% higher compared to the pre-pandemic average seen in February 2020.

Refinancing continues to remain front of mind for many Aussie mortgage holders, with the value of owner-occupier housing loan refinancing increasing by 3.5% in February.

This led to a new record high of $13.6 billion. 

The RBA’s consecutive cash rate rises have prompted borrowers to switch lenders in a bid to find competitive interest rates and cashback incentives

The total value of refinancing (including owner-occupied and investor) has nearly doubled since the last rate cut in November 2020 when external refinancing sat at $10.3 billion compared to $19.8 billion in February 2023.

Major bank Westpac was just off the mark in its prediction, tipping a -1.0% decline while ANZ anticipated a -5.0% decline.


First home buyers at a near-six year low

First home buyer loans fell 3.5% to 7,022 in February. 

“Owner-occupier first home buyer lending continued to decline from the high reached in January 2021, to the lowest level seen since May 2017,” Mr Mead said.

“It was also 27% lower than February 2020, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

State by state, the number of first home buyers in February fell:

  • Victoria -2.7%
  • Queensland -0.5%
  • Western Australia -7.3%
  • Tasmania -2.2%
  • South Australia -4.9%

Meanwhile, New South Wales, the ACT, and Northern Territory all recorded increases of 5.9%, 14.9%, and 3% respectively. 

More to come…


Buying a home or looking to refinance? The table below features home loans with some of the lowest interest rates on the market for owner occupiers.

Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Online ExclusiveUp To $4K Cashback
  • Immediate cashback upon settlement
  • $2,000 for loans up to $700,000
  • $4,000 for loans over $700,000
5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Apply In Minutes
  • No application or ongoing fees. Annual rate discount
  • Unlimited redraws & additional repayments. LVR <80%
  • A low-rate variable home loan from a 100% online lender. Backed by the Commonwealth Bank.
6.14% p.a.
6.16% p.a.
Principal & Interest
Featured Unlimited Redraws
  • No annual fees - None!
  • Get fast pre-approval
  • Unlimited additional repayments free of charge
  • Redraw freely - Access your additional payments when you need them
  • Home loan specialists available today
Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

Image by pressfoto via freepik

Ready, Set, Buy!

Learn everything you need to know about buying property – from choosing the right property and home loan, to the purchasing process, tips to save money and more!

With bonus Q&A sheet and Crossword!

By subscribing you agree to our privacy policy