Housing loan approvals showed a marginal improvement in October following dramatic falls over the past few months.
Total lending for the month rose +3.3% from September, but remains down -10% lower than September last year. Total lending over the full 12 months to October was down 0.9% on last month and 5.7% on the 12 months to October 2017.
The latest increase is driven by a +4.7% lift in owner occupier loans and a +1.3% lift in investor loans. Given the recent decrease in the value of loans, a lift in lending was unexpected.
Given that the housing market in Australia is highly leveraged, the availability of credit is a significant indicator of the strength and likely direction of housing values.