Change to housing finance series

Monthly Statistical Bulletin Feature Articles

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has, for nearly thirty years, collected statistics on housing finance commitments to owner occupiers. These have been published monthly in Housing Finance for Owner Occupation, ABS, catalogue number 5609.0. The value series for total commitments to owner occupiers from this publication has been reproduced for many years in this Monthly Economic and Social Indicators (MESI) publication and more recently in MESI e-data, available on-line for people connected to the parliamentary network.

With the release of March 2004 data (in May 2004), the housing finance publication introduced data on housing finance for investment housing and provided the data back to January 1985. With the inclusion of these data, the name of the ABS monthly publication changed to Housing Finance (still catalogue number 5609.0).

Finance for investment housing accounted for 13 per cent of total owner occupied plus investment housing in 1985 86, the first full-year of investment housing finance data. In the most recent financial year (2003 04), it accounts for 38 per cent of the total.

Given the move away from looking only at owner occupied housing, from this edition of MESI the housing finance series that will be shown is for total housing finance commitments. In 2003-04, owner occupied housing finance commitments were $124 033 million compared with $199 902 million for total housing finance commitments. Figure 1 shows the monthly owner occupied and total series.

MESI Table 5.3

Monthly Economic and Social Indicators Table 5.3 shows:

  • monthly data on total housing finance
  • annual totals of total housing finance
  • annual percentage changes in total housing finance.

Monthly data on value of total housing finance are graphed to show the level and direction in the series over the past few years.

MESI e-data Table 5.3

MESI e-data gives the full historical monthly series for total housing finance which is available from 1975. As explained above, the total series is owner occupied housing only for the period October 1975 to December 1984 and owner occupied plus investment housing from January 1985. These data are only available for people connected to the parliamentary network.

This feature was prepared by Stephen Barber.



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