Loans to housing investors in Australia are still running a little hot

Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

Australian private sector credit expanded modestly in July with the RBA reporting an expansion of 0.6%.

The reading was above expectations for an increase of 0.5% and an acceleration on the 0.4% expansion of June.

Housing credit, yet again, was largely responsible for the increase, rising 0.6%. Elsewhere business credit grew by 0.7% while personal credit was flat having registered an increase of 0.3% in June.

Compared to a year earlier, housing credit expanded by 7.4%, outpacing growth in business and consumer credit of 4.8% and 0.9% respectively.

Aside from the hefty increase in business credit recorded during the month, the largest in percentage terms since January this year, there was also evidence that restrictions on lending for housing investment were starting to have an effect.

Credit to housing investors increased by 0.6%, the weakest monthly expansion since September 2013.

From a year it increased by 10.8%, above the 10% level stipulated by APRA as the maximum per annum increase it would like to see, but the slowest annual expansion since March 2015.

It was also below the 11.07% increase registered in June which was the largest annual expansion since August 2007.

Still, as the chart above shows, the slowdown in percentage terms is miniscule when compared to the sharp increase in actual dollar terms seen in recent years.

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