Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent

Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
At the headline level it was another spirited month for housing finance nationally, with the seasonally adjusted $32.6 billion in October being the sixth greatest month on record following a lending blitz through 2015.
Although owner-occupier commitments increased again in the month, investor finance continued to slump, dropping by 6.1%.
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
The devil of this data series forever lies within the detail, with a number of sources indicating that there has been a level of jiggery-pokery with regards to the classification of loans between owner-occupiers and investors (since there is now a clear price incentive to opt for homebuyer loans).
The second chart below shows that owner-occupier commitments and refinancing have both increased solidly, while APRA's macroprudential measures have ensured that investor finance is now falling away quickly.
The net result was that total housing finance in trend terms remained flat in the month at $33.2 billion.
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
whether or not housing markets can push forward in 2016 will depend upon the extent to which the growth in owner-occupier loans can offset declining investor lending. 
Certainly we can see that the number of owner-occupier loans is trending up, but equally there is a chance that tightening mortgage rates could slow this sector of the market going forward.
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
State versus state

Skipping down to the state level we can see that the trend number of owner-occupier commitments is in decline in Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and Queensland, which is home to a significant number of declining regional markets in line with the resources investment collapse.
The trend in the number of owner-occupier commitments in the Australian Capital Territory has been stone dead flat for months.
The increase in the number of mortgages written has been driven purely by the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria. 
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
Generally speaking the higher value loans are written in the capital cities, and as such the dollar value of owner-occupier commitments tends to be a better indicator of what is playing out in the capitals.

In terms of the trend value of owner-occupier commitments, both Western Australia and the Northern Territory are again in decline. 
The Brisbane market is faring relatively well at the present time, helping to nudge the aggregate value of owner-occupier commitments in Queensland steadily up, while Victoria and New South Wales in particular are rising fast.
In fact, trend monthly owner-occupier commitments in New South Wales have ripped up the chart to sit some 43 per cent higher over the year at more than $8 billion (awooga!).
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
As noted, when it comes to housing finance the devil is always in the detail: more than $3 billion of the New South Wales monthly figure related to refinancing, and over the past year there has also been a slight uptick in finance for renovations.
Investor boom is a cooked goose: Pete Wargent
The wrap

Overall, there are many more different trends to cover than can be analysed in one blog post - it was a solid result nationally, and it all rather depends upon which market you are interested in.
One thing that we can say with certainty is that the investor boom is a cooked goose for this cycle, with investor finance now down by 9.2 per cent year-on-year. In 2016, the homebuyer sector of the market will swim back into focus.


PETE WARGENT is the co-founder of AllenWargent property buyers (London, Sydney) and a best-selling author and blogger.

His latest book is Four Green Houses and a Red Hotel.

Pete Wargent

Pete Wargent

Pete Wargent is the co-founder of, offering affordable homebuying assistance to all Australians, and a best-selling author and blogger.

Residential Market Housing Finance

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