Mortgage growth weakened into virus bust

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released its private sector credit aggregates data for the month of February 2020:

A chart showing the long-run breakdown in the components is provided below showing broad-based weakness:

In particular, the flow of personal credit fell 5.3% year-on-year.

A long-run breakdown of owner-occupied credit (0.39% MoM; 1.32% QoQ; 5.11% YoY) and investor credit (0.04% MoM; 0.11% QoQ; -0.22% YoY) is provided below:

Overall annual mortgage growth rebounded slightly from all-time lows at 3.2%, despite investor credit growth remaining negative:

However, the below chart shows that quarterly mortgage growth slowed in February:

The below breakdown shows that the latest quarterly slowdown has been caused by owner-occupiers, whereas investor mortgage growth is rebounding:

All of this data is irrelevant, however, given it pre-dates the onset of the coronavirus and the associated economic meltdown.

Leith van Onselen

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