If the recent figures from the Reserve Bank of Australia are anything to go by, then it would seem like the recent rate cuts have not made any substantial boost to investor lending.
The overall housing credit for the month of October only grew by 0.3%, driven by the 0.4% monthly growth in owner-occupier financing.
On the other hand, investor loans barely even moved, recording a measly 0.2% growth on a monthly basis. Compared to last year, investor loans were down by 0.2%, the sharpest drop since 1991.
"The lack of a credit pulse across the Australian economy reflects both consumer and business caution. Stimulus is expected to eventually lead to a pick-up in credit growth, but the missing ingredient in all of this is confidence," said CommSec economist Ryan Felsman.
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On a yearly basis, overall housing loans grew by 3%, down from the 5% gain recorded during the same month last year. The total Australian credit growth rose by only 0.1% monthly and 2.5% yearly.
RBA Governor Philip Lowe said the slow growth in lending could imply that Australians are taking advantage of rate cuts by paying their outstanding loans.
"This implied that the increase in new loans over recent months had been accompanied by faster repayment of existing loans, as usually occurs in the months immediately following an interest rate reduction," he said in a recent statement.
Recent figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the value of investor loan commitments rose during the September quarter.
"Growth in investment lending hasn't been quite as strong; however, the value of investment loan commitments was up 6.0% over the September quarter, which was the fastest gain since the December quarter of 2016," said CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless.
However, investors now comprise the lowest portion of housing loan commitments since the ABS records commenced in 2003, currently tracking at 24.8% of the overall value of new mortgage commitments.
When the first round of macro-prudential rules was introduced in December 2014, investors made up 43% of the national mortgage demand.
"The trends in housing credit are similar across the states, with the value of owner-occupier loan commitments generally outpacing investors," Lawless said.
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