Tasmanian rates of lending take a hit, according to ABS

LENDING: Economist Saul Eslake said it was too early to draw conclusions from the figures. Picture: Phillip Biggs
LENDING: Economist Saul Eslake said it was too early to draw conclusions from the figures. Picture: Phillip Biggs

The total value of money lent by banking institutions to Tasmanians fell by about $170 million in 2017.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, lending finance commitments in Tasmania fell by 3.9 per cent over the year, leading to a total value of $4.49 billion. 

Independent economist Saul Eslake said the result was likely due to the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s tightening of lending restrictions last year. 

The changes made it more difficult for banks to offer interest-only home loans to customers. 

However, Mr Eslake said it was too early to draw any concrete conclusions from the figures. 

“These figures do bounce around from month to month so I wouldn’t read too much into the decline,” he said.

“But if the trend were to continue, it would probably mean that the upswing in Tasmanian house prices that’s been occurring over the past 18 months or so was likely to run out of steam.”

The estimated value of lending to Tasmanian businesses, making up 76.6 per cent of all loans, fell by 3.8 per cent in the period.