The number of owner-occupiers taking out new loans has started to turn around with the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing increasing activity. New loan commitments rose 2.5% in August, although they remain 12.3% lower than at the same time last year.
They hit a peak of 40,000 in January 2021, on the back of historically low interest rates and the Covid pandemic. In August 2023, 25,404 new owner-occupier loans were issued by lenders. At the same time the number of homeowners looking to refinance dropped by 5.4%. Real Estate Institute of Australia (REIA) president Hayden Groves says the figures signal a “renewed confidence that interest rates are stable”. But he says the number of loans is still too low and says more needs to be done. “To help generate more investment and provide the support needed, government needs to carefully consider the needs of those affected as they have done in the same way for renters,” he says.