Investor lending rose 0.5% to $11.842 billion in July, the highest level since August 2015, says the latest data from the ABS.

This is the third consecutive month investor lending has risen while increases have been experienced in five of the last six months.

However, the total of housing finance fell 1.8% to $31.788 billion, 2.4% lower than the same time last year. Loans to owner-occupiers fell 3.1% to $19.946 billion, while total new lending (excluding refinancing) declined 4.5% to $13.047 billion.

Borrowers seem to be shopping around for better rates with the value of refinancing up 10.4% from a year ago.