New figures reveal loans to investors have cooled significantly, which will come as a relief to the Reserve Bank ahead of its monetary policy board meeting tomorrow.
The latest monthly banking figures released by APRA show loans to investors dropped almost $2.6 billion in September. Aggregate year-on-year growth is now comfortably below APRA’s 10% limit at 8.4%, with $41.2 billion investment loans settled over the year.
One of the four major banks, however, is still growing their investment loan books above 10%. NAB
has grown its investment book by $10.9 billion year-on-year, an annual growth rate of 13%. Over the month of September, the major bank increased its investment portfolio by $615 million, or 0.7%.
Australia’s largest lender to investors, Westpac, saw the largest decrease of the majors in loans to investors over September, recording a 1.1% decrease in the month. Westpac’s year-on-year growth in its investment portfolio is below half of APRA’s limit, at 3.2%.
However, it should be noted that Westpac still holds the biggest slice of the investment market by far, holding $20 billion, or 15.5%, more in investment loans than the next biggest lender to investors, CBA
decreased its investment book by $1.2 billion in September, according to APRA’s figures, bringing its year-on-year growth to 8%. ANZ
decreased its investment book by $515 million, also recording annual growth of 8%.
According to figures released by the Reserve Bank last week, investor housing finance lifted 0.5% in September to stand 10.4% higher over the year – the slowest growth in 10 months. Owner occupier housing credit, on the other hand, rose by 0.7% over the month to stand 5.8% higher than a year ago – the fastest annual growth since November 2011.