Figures from the RBA show total lending to the private sector grew 0.4 per cent in December, with the amount Australians borrowed rising by only 3.6 per cent in 2012. It’s not all doom – though mostly – the RBA data shows housing credit remains the most consistently robust category of borrowing, with a 4.5 per cent rise over the 12 months.
But, that annual housing credit growth rate is the slowest in RBA recorded history, admitedly the figures only go back to 1977.
Home lending growth of 0.3 per cent in December is also one of slowest monthly increases recorded ::::
Within the property sector, it’s owner-occupiers who are more reluctant to take out loans, with a 4.1 per cent rise in finance over the past year compared with a 5.5 per cent rise for investors.
Personal borrowing continued to be out of favour, with a 0.3 per cent decline in the category that includes credit card debt over the past year.
However, December did see a seasonally adjusted rise of 0.2 per cent, offsetting a 0.2 per cent fall the month before.
Likewise, a 0.7 per cent rise in business credit last month offset a 0.7 per cent slide the month before, with lending to firms up 2.8 per cent last year.