Owner-occupiers have been refinancing loans and changing to banks with better deals at record rates in response to rising interest rates, data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals.
ABS lending indicators for June revealed the value of owner-occupier housing loan commitments rose 9.7 per cent, with borrowers locking in a record high of $12.7 billion in the month.
ABS Head of Finance and Wealth Katherine Keenan said the value of homeowners changing lenders was 25 per cent higher in June compared to a year ago.
“As interest rates rose in recent months, borrowers sought loans with lower interest rates and lenders competed to attract them,” Ms Keenan said.
The trend follows three subsequent rate hikes by the Reserve Bank of Australia, with a further hike expected in its rate decision on Tuesday.
The number of new loans for owner-occupier first home buyers fell eight per cent in June 2022 to 9,393, close to the pre-pandemic level in February 2020 of 9,549.
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 lending indicators also revealed the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments fell most sharply in Victoria at 7.1 per cent, with smaller falls in NSW (down 2 per cent) and WA (down 4.7 per cent)
New investor loan commitments fell 6.3 per cent nationally, led by NSW (down 10.5 per cent or $439m), Victoria (down 3.4 per cent of $100m and Western Australia (down 10.6 per cent or $78m).
ABS building approval data, also released on Tuesday showed the value of total buildings approved fell 4.7 per cent in June, following a 10.8 per cent rise in May.
The value of non-residential building fell 6.1 per cent, following a 17.0 per cent increase in May.
The total number of dwellings approved fell 0.7 per cent in the month, on the back of an 11.2 per cent rise in May.
(Australian Associated Press)