Compared to December 2019, first home buyer loan commitments were 56.6% higher in December 2020, for a total of 15,205 commitments in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) data.

First home buyers now account for 35.9% of all owner-occupied loan commitments, excluding refinancing, in original terms.

In original terms, 17,500 loans were written for first home buyers in December, for an average value of $431,617.

This represents a marked jump from 15,503 loans written in November, which saw an average value of $421,202.

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

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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.
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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.

Purchases of existing dwellings made up the bulk of new loan commitment purposes, according to ABS head of finance and wealth Amanda Seneviratne.

“Loan commitments for existing dwellings accounted for 53% of December’s rise in owner occupier housing loan commitments, while construction of new dwellings accounted for 32%," she said.

The latest lending data comes after both CoreLogic and Domain reported record-high house prices across the capital cities, surpassing pre-COVID levels.

See Also: Is Australia in a Housing Bubble?

The increase in lending wasn't just for first home buyers either - wider owner occupier lending increased to nearly $20 billion, up 8.7% on the month, and 38.9% on a year ago.

investors continued to bounce back, too, up 8.2% on the month to reach $6 billion in loans written.

In original terms, average loan size for investors was nearly $492,000 in December, up from $489,000 in November.

The ABS also says federal and state-based grants, such as HomeBuilder, have contributed to a push in the new construction of dwellings.

Construction loan commitments also grew 17.1% in December, about double the amount seen in June when HomeBuilder was first announced.

Loan commitments for owner-occupied new builds amount to more than $3.5 billion in December, around $500 million more than in November.

However, ABS data from November also revealed about 16% of renovations made in that month would have been eligible for the HomeBuilder scheme.

Business lending for new constructions is also a mixed bag, amounting to $2.13 billion - up more than 100% on November, but still down 28.9% on a year ago. 

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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