Record slowdown in investment lending

Investor housing finance was flat in May with annual growth easing to a record low of 2.0 per cent. The data has been compiled since 1990. In seasonally-adjusted terms, new detached house sales fell by 4.4 per cent in May to stand 12.8 per cent down on the peak in December and stand 14.1 per cent lower than a year ago.

Private sector credit figures have implications for finance providers, retailers, and companies dependent on business spending.

WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

The regulators have been clearly successful in slowing investor demand for home loans. Investor home lending is still growing, but at the slowest pace in 28 years of records.

Overall Aussie consumers and businesses remain wary about taking on more debt. Credit is broadly lifting in line with the nominal growth of the economy with owner-occupier home loans and business lending providing the main supports. The Reserve Bank will be comforted by recent trends.

Banks will need to work harder for the affections of borrowers and savers. Aussies are reluctant to borrow and returns on savings are arguably more attractive in the sharemarket.

WHAT DO THE FIGURES SHOW?

Private sector credit (effectively outstanding loans)rose by 0.2 per cent in May after a 0.4 per cent rise in April. It was the slowest monthly growth in 16 months. Credit was up 4.8 per cent over the year – equalling the slowest rate in four years.

Housing credit grew by 0.4 per cent in per cent May and has risen 0.4-0.5 per cent a month over the past year. But annual growth eased from 6.0 per cent to 5.8 per cent – the lowest growth rate for over four years.

Owner occupier housing credit rose by 0.6 in May to stand 7.9 per cent higher over the year.

Investor housing finance was flat in May with annual growth easing to a record low of 2.0 per cent.

Personal credit fell for the fourth straight month, down 0.1 per cent in May to be down 1.3 per cent over the year. It was the biggest annual decline in six years.

Business credit fell by 0.2 per cent in May with annual growth easing from an 8-month high of 4.3 per cent to 3.8 per cent.

Both M3 and Broad Money rose by 0.4 per cent in May to be up 2.5 per cent for the year. Broad Money is growing at the slowest annual pace in 25½-years.

Term deposits with banks fell by $0.6 billion to $581.1 billion in May. Annual growth fell from 3.2 per cent to a four month low of 3.1 per cent.

Loans and advances by banks grew by 4.9 per cent in the year to May. And loans and advances by non-bank financial intermediaries rose by 4.4 per cent over the year, down from a 9½-year high of 7.1 per cent in March.

Deposits at banks rose by just 0.1 per cent in May to stand 2.5 per cent higher than a year ago.

In seasonally-adjusted terms, new detached house sales fell by 4.4 per cent in May to stand 12.8 per cent down on the peak in December and stand 14.1 per cent lower than a year ago.

The Housing Industry Association reported: The monthly reduction in May was synchronised across the surveyed states – sales fell by 6.8 per cent in New South Wales, 4.6 per cent in Victoria, 5.0 per cent in Queensland, 0.2 per cent in South Australia and 2.4 per cent in Western Australia.

No data was published by the HIA for multi-unit sales.