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Financial market: Lending commitments to first home buyers

Lending commitments to first home buyers

New lending commitments to first home buyers shows the number and value of new loan commitments to first home buyers, including to those who are investors and to those who are owner occupiers.

New lending commitments by significant lenders for the purposes of secured housing finance for owner occupation, purchase of investment dwellings and other personal finance are published in the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication Lending Indicators.

A new lending commitment is defined as a firm offer to provide finance which has been accepted by the borrower, and exists once the loan application has been approved and a loan contract or letter of offer has been issued to the borrower. The effects of normal seasonal variation and ‘trading day effects’ have been removed in the seasonal adjustment figures. To create trend estimates, the seasonally adjusted series is smoothed to reduce the impact of the irregular component of the seasonally adjusted series.

In September 2023, the ABS reinstated the number and value of new loan commitments to first home buyers, following temporary suppression in July and August 2023 due to data reporting issues. The ABS advises that the first home buyer series have been revised upwards back to January 2022.

In March 2020 the ABS suspended trend series, in addition to adopting forward factors to produce seasonally adjusted series. In the short term, the trend series measurement was significantly affected by disruption to regular lending patterns that has occurred during the COVID-19 period, for example as potential home buyers faced uncertainty about their job security. After monitoring the effects on lending patterns from COVID-19 and determining that there is sufficient certainty in the underlying trends in lending, the ABS has reinstated trend data for Lending Indicators commencing with the October 2022 issue. The ABS has also reverted to the concurrent adjustment method for seasonally adjusted data. This data has been reinstated for all the relevant series and through their entirety, including the COVID-19 period, except where it has been determined through a quality assessment that any series should remain suspended or partially suppressed. The data presented in the Lending commitments to first home buyers dashboard menu option consequently reflects these changes.

ABS Lending Indicators data are also used in the following dashboard menu options: Lending commitments to households and Average loan sizes for dwellings.

See ABS Lending Indicators for further information, including in-depth commentary and analysis, in particular the source data Quality Declaration. Source reference Data downloads, Housing Finance - First home buyers, tables 23, 24, 25.