Latest RBNZ Lending Figures Show Slowest Annual Growth in Mortgage Borrowing Since 2012

According to the Reserve Bank’s (RBNZ) monthly sector lending figures, New Zealand’s total stock of mortgage borrowing is experiencing its slowest annual growth since late 2012.

In April 2023, the total outstanding mortgage monies for both bank and non-bank lenders reached $348.051 billion, up from $347.474 billion in March.

The annual growth rate in the stock of outstanding mortgages was 3.2%, marking the slowest rate recorded since October 2012.

Just over a year ago, the mortgage stock was growing at an annual rate exceeding 10%.

Housing lending stock saw an increase of $577 million in April 2023, which is lower than the $929 million increase reported for March.

Looking solely at the figures from banks, the pile of bank mortgage debt rose from $341.658 billion in March to $342.313 billion in April, according to the separate data series provided by the RBNZ.

The total stock of lending to investors continued to shrink in April, reaching $90.148 billion compared to $90.176 billion in March.

After a significant surge in investor borrowing between 2020 and 2021, the investor mortgage stock has remained almost static, slightly above $90 billion at the end of last year.

Over the past 12 months, the bank mortgage stock for investors has grown by 0.9%, compared to a growth rate of 5% for the 12 months leading up to April 2022 and over 13.5% in the 12 months leading up to April 2021.

In terms of bank and non-bank lender borrowings, personal consumer lending stock increased by $52 million (0.4%) in April 2023. The annual growth rate dropped from 4.1% to 3.8%.

Business lending stock, which has been shrinking, experienced an increase of $627 million in April, reaching $132.074 billion. However, the annual growth rate further decreased from 4.9% to 4.4%.

Agriculture lending stock decreased by $145 million to $62.178 billion, with the annual growth rate falling from 1.3% to 1.2%. This marks the first drop since October 2022.


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