The latest monthly value of home loan approvals have surpassed market expectations with surprising strength in investor lending.
Housing finance approvals were worth a total of $32.5 billion in October up 0.6 per cent, seasonally adjusted, on September.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures also show that the value of investor loan approvals rose 1.6 per cent to $11.96 billion, while the value of owner occupier approvals was flat at $20.55 billion.
The number of owner occupier approvals were down, by 0.6 per cent which beat market expectations of a 1.3 per fall.
Westpac senior economist Matthew Hassan said the data showed that housing finance approvals were holding up – and much better than expected despite a slowdown in auction clearance rates, prices and turnover.
“The value of investor housing finance was even more inexplicable, posting a 1.6 per cent rise,” he said in a statement on Friday.
The number of loans to first-home buyers as a percentage of total owner-occupier approvals rose to 17.6 per cent in October, from September’s 17.4 per cent.
The average loan size for first-home buyers rose $3,700 to $321,100, while the average loan size for all owner-occupier commitments rose $2,900 to $374,600.
The number of loans to first-home purchasers has recorded strong growth in recent months, largely due to first-home buyer incentives that came into effect in July in NSW and Victoria.