Lending to property investors has contracted on an annual basis for the first time since Australian records have been kept, according to statistics from the central bank.
The numbers show overall private sector credit grew 0.2 per cent in September – below market expectations of a 0.3 per cent rise – and that credit for mortgages increased 0.2 per cent, credit to business was up 0.4 per cent and personal credit fell 0.7 per cent.
The financial aggregates data released by the Reserve Bank of Australia on Thursday also indicated overall credit rose 2.7 per cent in the 12 months to September as housing credit grew 3.1 per cent, business credit gained 3.3 per cent and personal credit fell 4.4 per cent.
Loans to property investors fell 0.1 per cent during the month – its largest contraction since August 1991 – and also shrank 0.1 per cent over the past 12 months.
The negative year-on-year figure is the first of its kind since the RBA started keeping track of the measure as a separate category in January 1991.
Owner-occupier credit increased 0.4 per cent in September compared to the previous month, with the 4.8 per cent annual increase the weakest since March 2014.