Australians set two records for home loans in November as they continued to show confidence in the economy.
The total value of new loan commitments for housing rose 5.6 per cent to an all-time high of $24 billion in November - a 23.7 per cent increase on November 2019, the Australian Bureau of Statistics reported on Friday.
The value of new home loans for owner-occupiers rose by 5.5 per cent to a record $18.3 billion, more than 31 per cent higher than a year earlier.
The ABS said federal and state government incentives and ongoing low interest rates contributed to the growth.
Loan commitments for existing dwellings rose 5.9 per cent and were the largest contributor to the rise in November's owner-occupier housing loans.
The value of construction loans grew 5.6 per cent in November, rising 75 per cent since July as the government's HomeBuilder grant scheme started to kick in.
In November, the number of owner-occupier first home buyer loans rose 3.1 per cent to reach 13,905 - a 42.5 per cent increase since the start of the year.
It is the highest level since October 2009 when growth was spurred by the temporary tripling by the government of the first home owner grant as a buffer against the global financial crisis.
The easing of coronavirus restrictions in Victoria led to owner-occupier home loans rising 19.6 per cent in that state in November.
Housing Industry Association economist Angela Lillicrap said it was expected housing finance approvals would continue to be strong in coming months, based on the association's new home sales data.
"It is evident in today's data that HomeBuilder has been successful in boosting confidence in the market and creating work on the ground," Ms Lillicrap said.
Maree Kilroy, economist for BIS Oxford Economics, said there was "positive momentum" in the property market.
"The incremental boost from stimulus measures, especially record low borrowing costs, is set to persist for some time," she said.
"Price growth has returned to all major markets with home buyer optimism on the up. This all bodes well for loan demand, both for established and new dwellings in the new year."
Australian Associated Press