The value of new home loans across Australia fell 4.4 per cent in June, continuing to soften from the peak of $33.2 billion in January.
The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that while new loan commitments have been trending lower, they remain at a historically elevated level of $31 billion.
Across most states, the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments dropped, led by Victoria which fell 7.1 per cent, following a 6.1 per cent rise in May, while smaller falls were seen in New South Wales (down 2 per cent) and Western Australia (down 4.7 per cent).
ABS head of Finance and Wealth, Katherine Keenan said despite the falls, levels are still higher than before the pandemic.
“The value of new owner-occupier loan commitments fell 3.3 per cent in June 2022, while new investor loan commitments fell 6.3 per cent,” Ms Keenan said.
“These falls followed rises in May, attributed to a clearing of application processing backlogs by lenders.
“Even with the June falls, the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments remained 50 per cent higher than the pre-pandemic level in February 2020, and the value of new investor loan commitments remained 101 per cent higher.”
Meanwhile, the value of borrower refinancing of owner-occupier housing loan commitments between lenders rose 9.7 per cent to a new record high of $12.7 billion in June 2022.
“The value of owner-occupier refinancing, where the borrower changed lender, was 25 per cent higher in June compared to a year ago,” she said.
“As interest rates rose in recent months, borrowers sought loans with lower interest rates and lenders competed to attract them.”
The number of new loan commitments to first home buyers fell 8 per cent in June 2022 to 9393, close to the pre-pandemic level in February 2020 of 9549.
The number of these loan commitments fell across almost all states and territories, particularly Victoria (down 11.2 per cent), New South Wales (down 9.4 per cent) and Western Australia (down 13.8 per cent).
The 6.3 per cent national fall in the value of new investor loan commitments was driven by New South Wales (down 10.5 per cent or $439 million), Victoria (down 3.4 per cent or $100 million) and Western Australia (down 10.6 per cent or $78 million).
Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory also fell, however, both Tasmania and the Northern Territory saw small increases.