October housing finance misses on FHOG shifts

There’s still little momentum in the housing “recovery”. ABS October Housing Finance numbers missed expectations of a 3% jump in home loans up just 0.1%, prior was 0.9% but revised up to 1.1%.

Some of the internals were better. Investment lending by value was strong for a second month, up 5.5% from September, prior was 8.6% revised up to 8.8%:

But owner occupier home loans numbers were down -0.2%, prior was up 1.5%, revised down to 1.4%:

Loans for new homes were still decent at 4.2% growth month on month for the number and 2.7% for value, but the growth rate has halved each of the past three months and looks to be fading.

The two charts you really want are total loans ex-refinancing and total value of loans ex-refinancing, both of which fell:

It may be that the First Home Owner Grant shifts in NSW and QLD are distorting the figures. Though the ABS does not split state figures by purpose, the falls were biggest in NSW for total loan numbers:

But then VIC fell too and QLD did not. But the pull forward and now a give back on lending numbers is obvious in the First Home Buyer segment of lending which was up 4.2% in September but down 2.8% in October. AFG data suggests the trend continued into November.

In sum, investors are still excited, everyone else not so much.

David Llewellyn-Smith


  1. Are there any stats on the average/mean value of home loans ?
    Not sure if I am reading them correctly, the charts seem to indicate that the number of home loans has increased but the value has stayed roughly the same.