MSN Money – 31 Dec, 2015
Garry Shilson-Josling, AAP Economist
Housing credit growth stayed steady in November, but the focus of growth shifted further away from investors and towards home-buyers.
The value of housing loans outstanding rose by 0.6 per cent for the third month in a row in November, in line with the average of the preceding 12 months.
That kept annual housing credit growth steady at 7.5 per cent, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia released on New Year’s Eve.
But the focus of lending for housing continued to shift toward owner-occupiers, as it has since soon after the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), spurred on by the RBA, warned financiers a year ago to rein in their loans to investors.
For the second month in a row, investor housing loans rose by only 0.4 per cent, the equal slowest monthly growth rate since early 2013, while loans to owner-occupiers rose by 0.8 per cent, the biggest month-on-month increase since mid-2009.
Annual growth in investor loans slowed to 9.1 per cent, with the latest three months averaging a annualised rate of just 5.3 per cent, well below APRA’s 10 per cent line in the sand.
At the same time, loans to owner-occupiers grew by 6.5 per cent through the year, and at a 9.2 per cent pace for the latest three months.
Credit growth overall was slower in November as business and consumer credit stalled.
The monthly rise on total credit on the books of Australian banks and other lenders grew by 0.4 per cent in November, the slowest monthly rise since June.
Annual growth slowed to 6.6 per cent from 6.7 per cent, but was still well up from the 5.8 per cent pace of the previous 12 months and the 3.7 per cent rise over the year before that.
The value of personal loans aside from housing fell 0.1 per cent in November to be unchanged from a year earlier, while loans to businesses were steady in November but still up by 6.2 per cent from a year before.