The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has published its latest monthly authorised deposit-taking institutions statistics (MADIS) for December 2020, which has revealed that most of the major banks have recorded growth across its owner-occupier and investment loan portfolios.
According to APRA, total residents’ loans and finance leases increased by $9.4 billion – or 0.3 per cent – in December 2020.
It also stated that in housing lending, both owner-occupier loans and investment loans recorded an increase.
Explaining the drivers for this trend, APRA said: “This is consistent with the continued broad-based increase in national house prices and market activity, driven by strong demand for detached dwellings.”
This has been reflected in the mortgage portfolios of the major banks, with all the four banks recording an overall increase. However, one major bank has continued to record a decline in its investment lending portfolio.
CBA pushes ahead
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) recorded a sharp rise in its owner-occupier lending portfolio, which grew from $304.6 billion in November 2020 to around $307.0 billion in December 2020.
This has resulted in a considerable spike in its overall mortgage portfolio, which grew from $463.2 billion in November 2020 to $466.2 billion in December 2020.
The bank recorded a more subdued $600-million increase in its investment lending portfolio, which increased from $158.6 billion in November 2020 to $159.2 billion in December 2020.
The substantial jump in CBA’s mortgage portfolio is despite an increase in CBA’s average turnaround times, which increased over December from 10 days to 19 days, according to brokers who responded to Momentum Intelligence’s Broker Pulse survey.
ANZ has continued to add to its mortgage portfolio, which grew by approximately $900 million to $262.2 billion in December 2020.
The growth was driven by its investment loans portfolio, which grew from $86.8 billion in November 2020 to $87.2 billion in December 2020, and has surpassed August 2020 levels, when the investment loans portfolio totalled $86.9 billion.
ANZ’s owner-occupier portfolio growth was more subdued, increasing from $174.5 billion in November 2020 to approximately $175.0 billion in December 2020.
Westpac posts gains in investment lending
The major bank’s overall lending portfolio has grown by approximately $1 billion, from $404.7 billion in November 2020 to $405.7 billion in December 2020.
This was largely driven by owner-occupier lending, which increased from $228.6 billion in November 2020 to $229.4 billion in December 2020.
However, the major bank has also halted the decline in its investment loans portfolio, recording a $200-million increase in December 2020. The portfolio has grown from $176.1 billion in November 2020 to $176.3 billion in December 2020.
According to the Broker Pulse survey of 184 mortgage and finance brokers, Westpac – and its subsidiary St.George – were the slowest in reaching an initial credit decision, at 24 days and 21 days, respectively.
The mortgage portfolio of National Australia Bank (NAB) recorded a marginal growth of approximately $500 million, growing from $260.1 billion in November to $260.6 billion in December.
This growth was driven by a jump in owner-occupier lending, which increased from $157.5 billion in November to $158.7 billion in December.
But the bank’s investment lending portfolio has continued to decline for the third consecutive month, dropping by $700 million to $101.9 billion in December 2020.
Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.