Home buyers took advantage of a virus-flattened housing market in August, as borrowing rose by 12.6 per cent on the previous month.

New loan commitments for housing rose were worth $21.29 billion in August, according to seasonally-adjusted Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Owner occupiers drove the gain. They borrowed 13.6 per cent more than the previous month for a $16.28 billion total, while investors increased their loans by 9.3 per cent ($5.01 billion).

Yet lending slipped in other categories.

Personal fixed term loans fell by 12.5 per cent for August to $1.38 billion, while lending for business construction dropped 42.9 per cent to $1.31 billion.

The housing loans may increase next year after the federal government last month flagged it wants to relax lending rules.

Lenders would be able to rely on borrower-provided information unless there are reasonable grounds to suspect it is unreliable.

If parliament passes the bill, the rules would take effect from March.