Mortgage lending slows to a crawl
30th Dec 08, 4:38pm
November data for total housing credit showed its slowest growth since the Reserve Bank started keeping these records in June 1998. Financial institutions (banks and non-banks) have loaned almost $161.5 billion for housing, up a meagre $136 million from a month earlier. The brakes are well and truly on mortgage lending, with the year-on-year growth now down to only 5.1%, also a record low. Not only have real estate sales slowed to under half their rate of a year ago, banks have also tightened their deposit requirements and raised other credit criteria. It is now clearly very much harder to get a new housing loan, and most lending activity is now focussed on rolling over existing arrangements. Other consumer lending also showed record low growth. But lending to business, especially lending for agriculture, continued its stellar run in November.