Investor lending drove surge in the value of housing finance commitments in September

According to the ANZ Australian Economics Quick Reaction for November, the value of housing finance commitments increased by 1.8 per cent month-on-month in September, led by a solid month-on-month rise of 4.6 per cent in investor finance.

The jump in investor finance lifted annual growth to 9.6 per cent year on year, which according to ANZ is the first positive annual growth since July 2015.

“This likely reflects the fact that house prices continue to rise and auction clearance rates remain elevated and this will be closely monitored by policymakers in the coming months,” ANZ said.

Meanwhile, the value of owner-occupied finance (excluding refinancing) fell by 0.8 per cent month-on-month in September.

Finance for first home buyers ticked up slightly by 0.9 per cent month-on-month, while finance for upgraders (excluding refinancing) fell by 1.1 per cent.

Further, the Quick Reaction found that the value of housing finance for the construction of new housing continues to weaken, alongside tighter surveyed lending conditions for developers.

“While there is a record backlog of construction work, this, together with the weaker than expected building approvals data for September, suggests approvals may be peaking,” ANZ said.