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CEO AllenWargent Property Buyers, & WargentAdvisory (institutional). 6 x finance author.

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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Credit where it's due?

Financial aggregates

The Reserve Bank released its Financial Aggregates figures for the month of May 2015.

Business credit expanded by a moderate 0.4 per cent for the month to be 5.2 per cent higher over the year.

As was accurately forecast by the market, housing credit recorded 0.5 per cent growth to be 7.2 per cent higher over the year to May.

Unsurprisingly growth in personal credit - which forms only a relatively small part of outstanding aggregates - remains soft.

Let's take a quick look at the two key components!

Part 1 - Business credit

After a flat month in April, business credit expanded moderately by 0.4 per cent in May, with total outstanding business credit now some way above where it was at is November 2008 peak.

In terms of the rate of business credit growth, the year-on-year percentage growth now appears to be fairly steady at 5.2 per cent. 

Certainly not amazing, but a considerably healthier position than the recession-like business conditions experienced in Australia broadly from 2009 through 2011.

May 2015 was a hectic month on the Aussie securities exchange, with a number of key floats and listings taking initial capital raised to a whopping total of $14,676 million for the period.

There was also a further $4,622 million of secondary capital raised in May, taking the rolling annual total of capital raised up to $78.9 billion. 

This is the highest level we have seen since the great flood of market re-capitalisation seen through 2010.

Indeed there was also $303 million of other capital including scrip-for-scrip raised in May, taking total capital raised for the month to $19.6 billion.

I can't find another month like it in more than a decade of data.

Recall that while these figures are not by themselves indicative of favourable business conditions or otherwise, the ABS Lending Finance series also saw total lending jump to a 7 year high earlier this month.

Part 2 - Housing 

Housing credit expanded by 0.5 per cent in May to be up by 7.2 per cent over the past year.

Growth has been a little more balanced of late, with owner-occupier credit expanding by $4 billion in May.

That said, this was still some way behind the $4.1 billion in expansion of investor credit, particularly when considered in percentage terms.

In terms of the rate credit of growth pertaining to investors, this remains 10.4 per cent higher than one year previous for another consecutive month, suggesting that the rate of growth may rather conveniently be hitting a plateau.

The latest APRA figures show that while some lenders are continuing to expand their investor mortgage books at a considerably faster pace than the regulator's arbitrary double-digit threshold, in aggregate the rate of credit growth to investors appears to be steadying.

You'd probably want to see a few more months of data before concluding too firmly that this plateau presents no obstacle to a further interest rate cut should it be needed, but the smoothed rolling annual data certainly seems to point in that direction.

Finally for today, the share of total outstanding credit accounted for by investors nudged slightly higher to 34.64 per cent.

Given the clear trend in the market towards investment property ownership, particularly for younger and first-time buyers in capital cities, this trend appears to be set in stone for quite some time to come.