The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has just released housing finance data for the month of September, which registered a seasonally-adjusted 4.4% increase in the number of owner-occupied finance commitments over the month:
The number of owner-occupied housing finance commitments excluding refinancings registered a seasonally-adjusted 5.0% increase over the month to be tracking 6.6% above the five-year moving average level. The number of commitments were also up 11.0% on September 2012 (see next chart).
The average loan size rose 1.9% over the month and was up 1.8% over the year. The below charts show the series on a 3-month moving average basis (in order to smooth volatility). Note the stagnation in average loan size since falling over the first quarter.
First home buyer (FHB) commitments slumped, recording a 9% non-seasonally adjusted fall in September and represented just 12.5% of total owner-occupied commitments – the lowest share on record (see below charts).
If you’re wondering where the rocket by now, look no further. The ABS only provides the value of investor finance commitments. These were up by 5% in September, 22% over the year, and hit the highest level on record (see next chart).
Overall, this is another strong release, albeit clouded somewhat by the ongoing weakness in FHB mortgage demand and the lack of growth in average loan size, as well as a question over finance for purchases of new dwellings which is slowing.