ADI’s Still Growing Their Mortgage Books

The latest ADI data from APRA, to end January 2017 shows that the banks  have $1,529 billion in mortgage loan stock, up from $1,523 billion in December, a rise of nearly $6 billion.  The RBA credit number was $1,637.4 billion, up 1% or $15.2 billion, suggesting the non-banks have been more active recently.

When we dig into the mix between owner occupied and investment loans, we need to make an adjustment to the December numbers where ING had (we estimate) about $3 billion of investment loans reported as owner occupied loans. This was reversed this month, so a casual observer will pick a stronger growth in investment loans than is the case. Nothing in the APRA release mentions this significant movement – again!

We think owner occupied loans grew by $3.9 billion and investment loans by $1.7 billion.

The corrected movements over the months look like this, with average growth around 0.4%, down from December. Given the holidays, no surprise.

This is the silly chart you get if you do not adjust the ING reversal, with investment loans at 0.9%.

In the month, and using the adjusted data, we see CBA wrote the most loans, with Westpac and NAB in joint second place. ANZ reduced its portfolio a little.

Here is the same data, but now with ING showing the offsetting changes from last month.

CBA has the largest share of OO loans, and WBC of investment loans, though CBA was catching up prior to the recently announced changes to investment lending policies.

Here is a map of the 10% speed limit. We added a year’s worth of portfolio movements to get this data (though others may choose to gross up the past 3 or 6 months). However, on this basis, CBA is running closer to the 10% speed limit which APRA reconfirmed recently.

Tighter underwriting requirements from APRA are likely to reduce future loan growth, but we reached yet another record in January.


APRA Says Banks Home Lending Up In December … But

APRA has released their monthly banking statistics, which shows the portfolio movements of the major banks. Total lending for housing was up 0.68% to $1.52 trillion, with owner occupied lending up 1% to $987 billion and investment lending up 0.06% to $537 trillion. But there are adjustments in these numbers which make them pretty useless, especially when looking at the mix between investment and owner occupied loans.

The trend here is quite different from the RBA data also out today, which showed growth of 0.8% for investment loans and 0.4% for owner occupied loans (and includes non-banks in these totals). A quick look at the monthly movements shows that there was a significant ($3bn+) adjustment at ING, which distorts the overall picture. No explanation from APRA, and this movement is much bigger than the $0.9 billion net figure the RBA mentioned in their release.

For what it is worth, here is the sorted 12 month growth trend by lending, showing the 10% “hurdle”. ING is to the right of the chart thanks to their adjustment.

But the point is, we really do not know where we stand as i) data quality from the banks is still poor, and ii) the regulators are unable to provide a reconciled and transparent picture of lending. Given the debate about housing affordability, we need better and consistent data to aid the debate.

Bank Home Loan Portfolio Now Up To $1.51 Trillion

APRA released their monthly banking stats for November 2016.  The total loan portfolio rose 0.65% in the month to a new high of $1.51 trillion. Within that, owner occupied lending rose 0.69% by $6.7 billion, to $977 billion and investment lending rose 0.58%, by $3.1 billion to $536 billion; accounting for 35.44% of all loans. We see investment lending still accelerating (as expected, based on our household surveys).

Looking at the individual lenders, CBA wrote more investment loans than WBC in the month, though WBC just holds on to its prime position for investment loans.

Overall WBC wrote the most new business, $2.48 billion. compared with CBA’s $2.26 billion.

The 12 month system investment portfolio movement is 3.5%, but has accelerated in recent months. Testing against the 10% APRA speed limit, we see that most lenders are well below this threshold. We think the limit should be dropped, as investment loan momentum is too strong, and well above inflation and wage growth. APRA never really explained why they picked 10% – time for more macro-prudential action!

The RBA data will be out soon, so we will see if the market – including the non-banks moved the same way.

Home Lending Momentum Increases In October

The latest monthly banking statisticsdata from APRA for October 2016 shows the total home lending portfolios held by the ADI’s grew from $1.49 trillion to 1.51 trillion, up 0.62%. Within that, owner occupied loans rose by 0.69% to $970 billion (up $6.6bn) and investment loans rose 0.5% (up $2.6 billion). 35.46% of the portfolio is for investment lending purposes.  Momentum is increasing (and matches the high rate of auction clearances we have seen recently).

apra-oct-2016-all-moveLooking at the individual banks, in value terms, CBA lifted their investment portfolio by $975m, compared with WBC $892m. Bendigo Bank shows an uplift of $1.1bn, thanks to their portfolio acquisition of $1.3bn of loans from WA. Suncorp, Members Equity and Citigroup saw their portfolios fall in value. Macquarie saw a small fall in their investment lending portfolio.

Collectively, the big four grew their investment portfolio by $2.6 billion, and their owner occupied portfolio by $4.5 billion.

apra-oct-2016-port-moveWestpac and CBA remain the largest home lenders.

apra-oct-2016-mix-moveLooking at the APRA 10% speed limit, based on an average annualised 3m growth rate, the market shows a 3.4% growth in investment lending, with CBA, WBC and NAB all growing faster than system, but below the 10% speed limit.

apra-oct-2016-yoy-3mThis data would indicate that i) further rate cuts from the RBA are off the agenda and ii) they should consider further tightening, using either macroprudential controls, or a rate rise.

We will get the RBA aggregates later today, and we will be able to assess the growth in the non-bank sector, as well as look at the changed classification which took place in the month between investment and owner occupied loans.

Remember that default rates on mortgages are already rising, especially in the mining heavy states, although overall provisions are low at the moment. The banks remain highly leveraged to the housing sector.

Investment Lending On Again

The latest data from APRA for September shows the portfolios of individual banks in Australia as well as details of total loan exposures.

Total lending for housing went to $1.5 trillion, up 7 billion in the month. Of that $5.2 billion was for owner occupation and $1.8 billion for investment loans. As a result 35.5% of loans are for investment purposes.

Looking at the portfolio data, we see that Westpac and CBA had the bulk of the growth, across both owner occupied and investment loans. NAB grew in both categories, whereas ANZ dialed back their investment lending (perhaps from reclassification?). It is worth noting that ING is also growing their owner occupied portfolio and Members Equity Bank grew strongly.  Pressure on some of the regional banks continues.

apra-adi-sept-portfolioThis has done little to change the relative market shares, with CBA in first place on owner occupied loans, and Westpac first on investment lending, but with CBA now nipping at their heals.

apra-adi-sept-sharesFinally, here is the relative investment lending portfolio growth. On a 3 month annualised basis, the total market grew 2.8%, but now three of the major players are operating above system growth, though still below the 10% speed limit imposed by APRA last year.

apra-adi-sept-trends There has clearly been a focus on energising investment lending, as we predicted in our Property Imperative report.  We expect momentum to continue for some time to come, hampering the RBA’s ability to cut the cash rate if they needed to.  We still believe further macroprudential measures are needed.

RBA Data Confirms Home Lending Up – To $1.584 Trillion

The latest RBA credit aggregates to end August 2016, shows that total credit grew again, thanks to higher home lending, which reached a new record of $1.584 trillion.  A further $1 billion of loans were reclassified between between owner occupied and investment loans, making $44 billion in total, or 2.8% of all loans.

Seasonally adjusted owner occupied loans grew 0.62% or $6.3 billion, whilst investment lending grew $1.5 billion or $0.27%. Investment loans comprise 34.98% of all home lending, down from a high of 38.6% in June 2015. Business lending went sideways, dropping to 33.2% of all lending, continuing its drift downwards – not a good sign for real future growth. Other personal credit fell slightly.

rba-aggregates-aug-2016-allThe 12 month growth analysis shows owner occupied loans sitting at 7.6%, investment loans 4.6%, total housing at 6.5% and business lending at 5.7%.  All higher than inflation and income growth. Australia is living with ever higher debt.

rba-aggregates-aug-2016The RBA says:

Following the introduction of an interest rate differential between housing loans to investors and owner-occupiers in mid-2015, a number of borrowers have changed the purpose of their existing loan; the net value of switching of loan purpose from investor to owner-occupier is estimated to have been $44 billion over the period of July 2015 to August 2016, of which $1.0 billion occurred in August 2016. These changes are reflected in the level of owner-occupier and investor credit outstanding. However, growth rates for these series have been adjusted to remove the effect of loan purpose changes.

Home Lending Continues Higher

The latest APRA monthly banking stats to end August 2016 shows that total lending for housing rose 0.53%, equivalent to an annualised rate of 6.41%, well ahead of inflation and wage growth.  Total loans are now $1.487 trillion, up another $7.9 billion in the month.

apra-august-2016-trendsWithin that, owner occupied loans rose 0.63% (up $6bn) and investment loans rose 0.35% (up $1.8bn). Investment loans comprise 35.55% of loans on book, down just a little from last month.

apra-august-2016-trendsLooking at the individual banks, Westpac grew their portfolio the largest, up $2.5 billion, followed by CBA. ANZ reduced their investment portfolio – perhaps thanks to restatement of loan purpose? Bendigo dropped their portfolio of owner occupied loans in the month.

apra-august-2016-mon-movementsHere are the current relative shares.

apra-august-2016-sharesFinally, here is the investment growth, by lender, which is running on a 3 month annualised basis at 2.6%. We see some of the majors growing their investment loans faster than system but below the theoretical 10% speed limit, which has little use currently. A couple of players are running well over however.

apra-august-2016-inv-hurdletrends   The RBA data, out soon will tell use more about the overall portfolio, including non-banks, and also about the restatement adjustments.

Home Lending Higher In July 2016, But Slowing

The latest monthly banking stats from APRA shows that total lending for home loans by the ADI’s (banks, building societies, credit unions etc.) rose 0.5% in July, down slightly from the previous month. Within that loans for owner occupied loans rose 0.64% to reach $952.5 billion, and investment lending rose 0.3% to $527 billion. Loans for investment property now comprise 35.6% of outstanding loans. So the rate of loan growth is slowing, but the overall level of household debt continues to rise and investment loans are back in favour. Remember too that these numbers are still messed up with ongoing loan reclassification with $43 billion over the period of July 2015 to July 2016, of which $1.0 billion occurred in July.

APRA-July-2016-ADI-Mon-PC-MoveLooking at individual lender movements, CBA lent more on both the owner occupied and investment side of the ledger.

APRA-July-2016-ADI-HL-MoveAs a result we see CBA lifting its market share, though Westpac still has a greater share of investment loans.

APRA-July-2016-ADI-HL-ShareIf we examine the relative growth of loan portfolios against the APRA 10% speed limit, most major players remain within the 10% target.

APRA-July-2016-ADI-TrendWe will look at the RBA financial aggregates next, which gives us the view of all loans across the market, including the non-bank sector.



Banks Are Still Chasing Home Loans

The latest data from APRA on the loan books of the banks shows that in June 2016, housing loans grew by $10.1 billion to $1,471 billion, up 0.69%. Owner occupied loans grew by $8.6 billion and investment loans by $1.5 billion.

Looking at the individual banks, CBA maintains its first place position with owner occupied loans, Westpac, first place on investment loans.

APRA-June-2016-1Loan portfolio movements show that CBA grew its overall book the most. However, bear in mind there were $1.3 billion of adjustments between classifications of loans in the month, so there is noise in the data.

APRA-June-2016-2However, if we take this as right, we can estimate overall investment loans growth. We use the data from the past 3 months, and gross it up to 12 months, to remove some of the noise. On that basis, overall growth is 3.3%, and most players are well within the APRA 10% speed limit.


Have We Passed Peak Mortgage?

The housing finance data from the ABS today shows that there has been a slight slowing in absolute mortgage lending flows in May.  But the overall stock of housing loans held by ADIs rose 0.62%, or $9.3 billion (after taking account of new additions, repayments and refinance, as well as adjustments). Total loans on book were worth $1.5 trillion, another record. Within that, owner occupied loans rose 0.76% or $7.3 billion, and investment loans rose 0.37% or $2.0 billion.

We will concentrate on the more reliable trend data series. Overall new owner occupied lending flows fell, in trend terms by 0.56%, or $115 million. Withing that overall fall though, refinanced loans were static, at 34.3% of lending, as households took up the low rate offers available. Lending for construction was down 0.54%, or $9.9 million, whilst purchases of new property were down 3.5% or $34 million and purchase of establish property was down 0.4%, or $71.6 million. Remember we are looking at flows of new loans here, so in trend terms, the value of mortgages is still growing, just more slowly.

May-2016--OOFlowsLooking across the various states, the weighted average was a drop of just 0.2%. ACT rose 1.2% and SA rose 0.8%, whilst all other states, other than NT fell around 0.2%. NT fell 1.4% on small volumes.

May-2016--State-ChangesLooking at the original data for first time buyers, the number of loans jumped by 4.5% to 8,488, but comprised 13.9% of all transactions, down from 14.14% last month. The average loan size fell again by 1.3%, showing that tighter lending standards are biting, the average new loan for first time buyers is now $326,000, whilst the average loan to other borrowers also fell, to $362,000, down 1.2%. Using data from our surveys, we are able to identify those first time buyers going direct to the investment property sector. Investor loans grew 1.2% making 4,041 loans in the month, so total REAL first time buyers of all types rise by 3.4% to 12,529 during May.

May-2016-FTBLooking at the mix of lending for investment and owner occupation, the flow of investment loans fell by 0.1% in trend terms (down $6m) whilst owner occupied loans flows fell 0.6% or $115 million. $11.6 billion of investment loans and $20.5 billion of owner occupation loans were written. In total more than $32.1 billion of new loans were written, compared with $32.2 billion last month, an overall fall of 0.4%.

May-2016-oo-and-INV-FlowsAs a result, the mix of new loans for investment purposes rose to 36.2%. We continue to see a rise in investment lending, with a 1.9% lift in loans for new investment property construction, compared with a fall of 0.5% for construction for owner occupation.

May-2016--OO-and-IV-Detail Finally, we look at loan stock, remembering some reclassifications continue. The overall stock of housing loans held by ADIs rose 0.62%, or $9.3 billion (after taking account of new additions, repayments and refinance, as well as adjustments). Total loans on book were worth $1.5 trillion, another record. Within that, owner occupied loans rose 0.76% or $7.3 billion, and investment loans rose 0.37% or $2.0 billion.

May-2016-StockSo, we conclude that momentum is likely to drive home loan demand higher, even if the rate of growth is somewhat curtailed by tighter lending standards. Demand is still being seen from investors and first time buyers are still active. Refinance to new low rates is still in play. So, no we have not yet reached “peak mortgage”.