Business

Home investors hedged bets before election

The value of mortgage lending, excluding refinancing, fell by 2.4 per cent in May to $16.5 billion. (AAP)

The value of total mortgage lending, excluding refinancing, fell by 2.4 per cent in May to $16.5 billion.

The value of total mortgage lending, excluding refinancing, fell by 2.4 per cent in May to $16.5 billion, confirming economists' expectations that housing investors were on a lending "strike" before the federal election.

The value of loans granted to owner-occupiers in May was 18 per cent lower than a year earlier, according to seasonally adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, falling by 2.7 per cent to $12.1 billion.

Investor loans dropped by 1.7 per cent in value to $4.3 billion, now down 27.8 per cent for the past 12 months.

Total lending to households, including refinancing and personal loans, fell by 1.3 per cent to $30.52 billion.

This was offset by a 12.1 per cent increase in lending to businesses to $41 billion for the month.

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