Lending for new home investors in Australia reached all-time high

Lending to investors buying new homes reached an all-time high in Australia July but lending to owner occupiers remained below the peak that occurred nearly a year ago.

The total number of loans to owner occupiers purchasing or constructing new homes remained largely unchanged in July 2015 compared with the level in June, but was 9.4% lower than the peak level of lending that occurred in September of last year, the data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows.

In contrast, lending to investors constructing new homes increased strongly in July. The value of lending in this category jumped by 11.7% in the month alone to reach a new all-time high.

Investors have played a major role in the current new home building cycle, contributing a larger share of new housing supply than has historically been the case, according to the Housing Industry Association, the voice of the residential building industry.

‘New home building has been a key element to the broader domestic economy’s continual growth in recent years, but critically, it has also made meaningful headway in satisfying the housing needs of Australia’s growing population,’ said HIA economist, Diwa Hopkins.

A breakdown of the figures show that compared with 12 months ago, the number of owner occupier loans for the construction or purchase of new dwellings declined across most states. New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory were the only areas to record increases at 0.7% and 4.8% respectively.

The number of loans declined in the Northern Territory by 29.7%, in Tasmania by 29.4%, in Western Australia by 17.4%, in Queensland by 8.9%, in Victoria by 7.8% and in South Australia by 6.6%.