New mortgage lending fell 3.2% in March

The value of new home loans fell 3.2 per cent in March, more than wiping out the previous month’s 2.2 per cent rise.

The value of mortgage lending excluding refinancing was 18.4 per cent lower than a year earlier at $16.93 billion, according to seasonally adjusted figures released Monday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The total value of lending to households fell 3.7 per cent to $30.75 billion.

“All components of new lending to households were weaker in March, more than offsetting a bounce in lending activity seen in February,” ABS chief economist Bruce Hockman said.

Lending for owner occupier dwellings fell 5.7 per cent in NSW and 5.3 per cent in Queensland in March, after rises in both states the previous month.

Nationally, lending for investment dwellings also contracted further in March, down 25.9 per cent compared to March 2018.

The ABS said the level of new lending for investment dwellings is at its lowest level since March 2011.

Meanwhile, new lending for personal finance fell 11.2 per cent in March to $4.6 billion, after rises in January and February, while lending to businesses fell 1.5 per cent to $32.13 billion for the month.

The value of total lending for March was 2.6 per cent lower at $62.88 billion.


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