It’s official, home buyers took on debt like never before in 2021

sydney-skyline-on-sunny-day

New loan commitments taken on by Australian property buyers reached new heights over the course of 2021 according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Tuesday.

The Bureau’s December lending indicators reveal that a record $369.76 billion worth of new home loans were taken out by owner-occupier and investor borrowers during the year, helped on by a new record monthly figure of $32.8 billion in December.

 “December’s rise was driven by a 5.3 per cent rise in the value of new owner-occupier loan commitments," said Amanda Seneviratne, acting head of finance and wealth at the ABS.

"This is the second consecutive monthly rise in owner-occupier lending and follows the falls seen from June 2021 through to October 2021."

New loan commitments in Australia (seasonally adjusted). Source: ABS

abs-new-lending-figures-dec-2021

As the graph above shows, the amount of new housing finance being taken out has soared in recent years. In 2011 the total annual figure was $169.03 billion, which is 118% lower than the 2021 total, but the real jump has come in the past two years during which time the value of new loan commitments has increased by 50%.

While it may be hard to appreciate the size of those numbers, sizable increases in average loan sizes provide another reflection of the rising cost of property and the amount Australians are being required to borrow.

According to the latest ABS figures, the national average mortgage size (for owner-occupied dwellings) just tipped over the $600,000 mark for the first time - an increase of $92,615 in the past year alone.

And for New South Wales and Victoria, the jump was even higher. 

Average loan sizes in Australia — December 2020-21. Source: ABS

December 2020December 2021Increase
NSW$646,923$779,770$132,847
VIC$517,826$630,412$112,586
QLD$436,806$504,055$67,249
SA$386,475$441,576$55,101
WA$423,449$450,645$27,196
TAS$386,414$430,526$44,142
AUS$509,420$602,035$92,615

When it comes down to cost, the difference between a $509,420 mortgage and a $602,035 mortgage is substantial.

For instance, assuming an interest rate of 3.00% and principal and interest repayments being made of 25 years, the difference between the two figures equates to $439 in monthly repayments and $39,142 in total interest paid over the life of the loan.

RELATED: February home loan snapshot: Athena and ANZ lead variable rate drops

Interested in viewing more home loan figures? Check out our dedicated Australian home loan statistics page for average rates, loan sizes and more.

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