New lending to households for dwellings fell 2.4 per cent in May and is down by 20.9 per cent over the past 12 months, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
The fall was driven by lending to owner occupiers (excluding refinancing), which fell 2.7 per cent in May. Lending to investors (excluding refinancing) was down 1.7 per cent in May.
First home buyers were a strong presence in the market, accounting for 28.5 per cent of new lending in May. RateCity said that last time first home buyers accounted for such a big proportion of the market was in 2012.
The personal finance market continued its decline - down 0.7 per cent in May and down 16.2 per cent over 12 months.
The only bright spot was that new lending to business rose 12.1 per cent in May (in seasonally adjusted terms) and is up 34.7 per cent over the year.