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Record-breaking mortgage streak continues

Banks wrote $11.2 billion more in owner-occupied home loans in November – a 0.9 per cent increase on the prior month – as record levels of mortgage activity continue.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has released its monthly authorised deposit-taking institution (ADI) statistics for November 2021, showing that total residents loans and finance leases increased by $35.0 billion or 1.2 per cent in November. 

Comparatively, in November 2020, the ADIs saw total residents loans and finance leases increase by just $6.9 billion.

Total residents loans and finance leases on Australian bank books have now surpassed $3 trillion in value for the first time.

In total, the banks had $1.91 trillion of housing loans on their books, up from just over $1.90 trillion the month prior.

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The increase was led by a $11.2 billion, or 0.9 per cent, increase in owner-occupied housing lending. 

Investment housing lending increased by $2.0 billion, or 0.3 per cent. 

The ongoing surge in mortgage activity has been led by “strong borrower demand bolstered by low mortgage interest rates”, APRA said.

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia had $333 billion of owner-occupied loans and $168.9 billion of investment loans on its books in November, followed by Westpac ($254 billion and $171 billion, respectively), and National Australia Bank ($175 billion and $101 billion, respectively).

Australia and New Zealand Bank continues to have the smallest loan book of the big four banks, with $173 billion of owner-occupier mortgages and just $87 billion of investor loans as at November 2021.

ING and Macquarie Bank – both of which have performed well in turnaround speeds since the pandemic began – had around $44 billion in owner-occupied mortgages on their books in November, with Macquarie leading the non-majors for its investor book – which was just over $31.4 billion.

The APRA figures also show that credit card lending rose sharply by $1.7 billion or 6.3 per cent in November, which the regulator said was “likely reflecting the recovery in economic conditions and eased restrictions”.

Credit card lending typically increases in November and December, as the country heads into the festive period and summer holidays.

However, despite the increase, credit card lending remains below its historical average. 

Other household lending (for example, fixed-term personal loans) increased by $2.7 billion or 3.7 per cent. 

Non-financial business lending increased strongly by $13.7 billion or 1.6 per cent in November, partly reflecting continued strength in business confidence and conditions. 

[Related: Total bank loans near $3 trillion, finds APRA]

Record-breaking mortgage streak continues
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