For all the talk of a home lending slump, the October housing finance figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics were something of a surprise – they rose, not fell as accepted wisdom in the market had them doing.
The ABS’s monthly housing finance report showed growth in Australian home loans accelerated at a faster pace than expected in October on stronger financing for owner-occupied housing (which is a point we have been making for more than a month) and the RBA’s credit aggregates have been confirming for months now.
Headline loan growth rose 2.6% month on month in October, according to the ABS report.
That easily topped the median forecast of zero growth from economists in a Reuters poll.
Home loans to owner-occupiers grew a surprisingly solid 3.6% while lending for property investment was 0.6% higher in October.
The moves came after a 3.8% slide in lending in September, on the back of a 4.2% drop for owner-occupied housing and a 2.8% for investment housing.
But for this to be a positive sign, the figures for November and December would have to be just as solid.