The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revised its first home buyer data, seeing loans to first home buyers surge 20%, revealing that the slump in first home buying activity may not be as dire as it seems.
An ABS investigation into the accuracy of estimates of loans to first home buyers has shown "a degree of under-reporting by some lenders on loans to first home buyers; this was because some lenders were not including figures for first home buyers who did not receive first home owner grants."
"The ABS has published first home buyer loan figures since the early 1990's," said Jacky Hodges from the ABS. “Initially we thought the fall off in first home buyer loans over the last two years was due to reduced affordability arising from changes in grants, rising house prices, increased investment housing loan activity and general economic conditions."
The under-reporting did not affect the total value of home lending, which is reported separately.
In light of the findings, the ABS together with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority will make sure all first home buyer loans are recorded, whether they have a first home owner grant or not.
The ABS has just released their information paper detailing the findings of the investigation, the new methodology, the extent of revisions and updated spreadsheets of previously published first home buyer statistics.