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Wednesday 23 December 2020

Credit growth slumps to new cycle lows

Credit growth sluggish

Reserve Bank assets have continued to increase to $319 billion as at mid-December. 

But as money growth scaled fresh cycle highs of 12.4 per cent in November, credit growth continued to slump to new cycle lows of just 1.7 per cent. 

Business credit growth was negative again in November, as it was in October, and there's been little need for personal credit to grow lately as stimulus (in fact personal credit growth has crashed deeply into negative territory this year). 

Housing credit growth continued to move up to a 17-month high, but overall will be more modest in this cycle with interest-only loans outstanding having been crunched lower from $580 billion to around $260 billion. 

To date the growth has been all about owner-occupiers, with this cohort recording +5.4 per cent credit growth over the year to November 2020. 

The housing credit impulse already points to higher housing prices in the first quarter of 2021. 

With enquiries from investors suddenly jumping in December housing credit growth will likely rise further, in turn igniting double digit gains for property prices (base case).