Today’s housing finance data for December, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), posted a seasonally adjusted rise in both owner-occupied finance and investor finance commitments.
According to the ABS, the total number of owner-occupier finance commitments (excluding refinancings) rose by a seasonally adjusted 1.6% over the month to be up by 4.6% over the year (see below charts).
By comparison, the value of investor finance commitments rose by 0.6% in December but were down by 13.6% over the year (see next chart).
The annual share of total loans going to investors (excluding refinancings) also fell to 49.2% in December from a peak of 51.5% in July:
Meanwhile, first home buyer (FHB) owner-occupied demand rebounded in December but remained weak at just 15.1% of total owner-occupied finance commitments. They rose by 4.6% in December but were still down 0.1% over the year (see below charts).
Meanwhile, the average loan size fell by 2.2% in December but was up 11.3% over the year, with the trend flattening on a 3-month moving average basis:
Finally, despite this month’s improvement, the below chart shows that the pick-up in the value of owner-occupied housing demand is only partly offsetting the sharp fall in investor demand:
On a trend basis, mortgage demand continues to slow.