Record high for home loan lending

 Record high for home loan lending

Aussies are borrowing more than ever before to get their hands on the home of their dreams, a new report has shown.

Figures released on Friday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show that the value of new housing loan commitments and owner-occupier loans reached record highs in November, as Australians continue to lap up government incentives and low interest rates.

Real Estate Institute of Australia President Adrian Kelly says the data shows the current strength of the country’s housing market, and that initial reports of a housing crash were way wide of the mark.

“The November lending figures confirm the resilience of the housing market with investors, first home buyers and owner-occupiers all active in the market,” he says.

“With limited stock and strong demand driven by a record low interest rate outlook, the market’s likely to remain buoyant for the coming 12 months, defying the doomsday forecasts of last year.”

The value of new loan commitments for owner-occupier housing was up 5.6 per cent in November, with all states and territories recording an increase in figures. Victoria led the way with an impressive 19.6 per cent increase as COVID restrictions were eased.

“The number of owner-occupier first home buyer loan commitments increased by 3.1 per cent for the month and is 42.5 per cent higher than the beginning of 2020,” Adrian explains.

“This is more than 30 per cent higher than any month since 2009, when the commonwealth government’s response to the GFC included increases to the first homeowner grant.”

ABS Head of Finance and Wealth Amanda Seneviratne says many lenders are capitalising on the favourable conditions and taking the plunge to build their dream homes.

“The value of construction loan commitments grew 5.6 per cent in November, rising 75 per cent since July. This follows the implementation in June of the government’s HomeBuilder grant in response to COVID-19,” she says.

“Other federal and state government incentives and ongoing low interest rates also contributed to the continuing growth in new housing loan commitments.”

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