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Home lending continues sustained growth: APRA

Both owner-occupier and investment housing lending increased in September, reflecting strong borrower demand boosted by low rates, according to new data.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) monthly authorised deposit-taking institution statistics for September 2021 has revealed that total residents’ loans and finance leases increased by $17.7 billion – or 0.6 per cent – in September.

This was driven by a $9.0 billion (0.7 per cent) increase in owner-occupied lending and a $1.7 billion rise (0.3 per cent) in investment housing lending.

APRA said that the “sustained growth in housing lending continues to reflect strong borrower demand bolstered by low mortgage interest rates”.

Across the major banks, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s (CBA) loan book rose from $489.6 billion in August to $493.6 billion in September, driven by growth in both its owner-occupier and investor lending portfolio.

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Owner-occupier lending rose from $324.8 billion in August to $327.5 billion in September, while investor lending rose from $164.8 billion to $166.1 billion.

Total residents’ loans and finance leases also climbed, up from $690.5 billion in August to $695.5 billion in September.

After recording declines in its overall loan book in August, ANZ’s portfolio remained largely stable in September, at $260.4 billion (down from $261.0 billion in August).

The major bank’s owner-occupier lending was steady at $173.4 billion in September (down from $173.9 billion in August) while investor lending was at $87.0 billion.

Total residents’ loans and finance leases were at $407.4 billion.

National Australia Bank’s (NAB) reported that its owner-occupier lending had risen from $170.8 billion in August to $172.1 billion in September, which saw its overall portfolio increase from $270.8 billion to $272.2 billion in September. NAB’s investor lending portfolio remained steady at $100.0 billion, while total residents’ loans and finance leases increased from $493.7 billion to $497.4 billion.

Westpac recorded a fall in investor lending, down from $174.4 billion in August to $173.5 billion in September.

However, its total loan book increased from $422.3 billion in August to $423.7 billion, driven by its owner-occupied book, which was up from $247.9 billion in August to $250.2 billion in September.

There was a sharp increase of 0.9 per cent in overall non-financial business lending, which was up by $7.6 billion in September. This was partly attributed to improvements in economic conditions and business confidence.

Loans to financial institutions increased by $600 million (0.5 per cent) but loans to general government decreased further in September, by $400 million or 2.1 per cent.

Credit card lending continued to decrease, falling by $300 million or 1.0 per cent in September. APRA said this could likely reflect the long-term structural decline in this form of lending.

Other forms of household lending (including fixed-term personal loans) also decreased by $500 million, or 0.7 per cent.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) financial aggregates data has shown that total credit remained stable in September at 0.6 per cent, similar to housing credit, which was also at 0.6 per cent.

Housing credit grew by 6.5 per cent in the year ended September 2021, compared to 3.3 per cent in September 2020.

However, personal lending was down by 0.6 per cent in both September and August 2021, and by 5.3 per cent in the year ended September 2021. Lending in this segment had plummeted by 12.9 per cent in the year ended September 2020.

Business credit rose by 0.7 per cent in September 2021, compared to 0.6 per cent in August. It was up by 4.6 per cent in the year ended September 2021, and 1.9 per cent in September 2020.

[Related: Owner-occupied lending surges by $13bn: APRA]

Home lending continues sustained growth: APRA
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Malavika Santhebennur

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.

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