The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its latest monthly authorised deposit-taking institutions statistics (MADIS), which, for the second consecutive month, reflect a major divergence in the home lending performances of the big four banks.
ANZ and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) reported combined mortgage portfolio growth of $4.4 billion in August, again driven by surges in owner-occupier volumes.
ANZ’s total mortgage book grew by approximately $2.3 billion, from $252.1 billion to $254.4 billion, with a $1.7 billion rise in its owner-occupied book ($167.5 billion) supported by a $600 million increase in its investor portfolio ($86.9 billion).
This followed overall growth of $1.8 billion in July and $2.2 billion in June, largely off the back of strong refinancing flows in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
CBA’s portfolio grew by an additional $2.1 billion, from $454.4 billion to $456.5 billion, underpinned by a $1.7 billion spike in its owner-occupied book ($299.2 billion), and a $400-million increase in its investor portfolio ($456.5 billion).
Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, CBA’s portfolio has increased by a cumulative $10.2 billion.
ANZ and CBA’s home lending performance in August was in stark contrast to NAB and Westpac’s performance, with the latter pair recording combined contractions totalling $2 billion.
NAB’s mortgage book contracted by approximately $900 million in August, from $262 billion to $261.1 billion, with a $100 million increase in its owner-occupied book ($156.1 billion) offset by a $1 billion decrease in its investor portfolio ($105 billion).
Westpac, however, recorded contractions in both its owner-occupied and investor portfolios, down $600 million ($229 billion) and $500 million ($177 billion), respectively.
As a result, Westpac’s overall portfolio decreased by approximately $1.1 billion, from $407.1 billion to $406 billion.
Over the months of July and August, NAB and Westpac’s portfolios contracted by a cumulative $4.7 billion, following combined growth of $3 billion in June.
The release of APRA’s latest statistics have coincided with the publication of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s Financial Aggregates data, which revealed that housing credit growth grew 0.2 per cent in August — in line with the previous month.
However, in annual terms, housing credit grew 3.2 per cent in the 12 months to 31 August, up from 3.1 per cent in the previous corresponding period.
Following a 0.1 per cent contraction in July, total credit growth remained stable in August, but continues to lag in annual terms at 2.2 per cent, down from 2.8 per cent.
Subdued credit growth reflects sharp declines in personal and business lending, which fell by a further 1.1 per cent and 0.4 per cent in August.
Charbel Kadib is the news editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel completed internships with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.