ABS figures show investor finance rose 13% in May, or more than 115% higher than the same time last year. Loan commitments for investor housing are at their highest level since June 2015, after falling to a 20-year low in May 2020.

Housing credit growth is currently about 7%, or about the same level when the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority started to tighten lending standards in 2014. Canstar’s Steve Mickenbecker says: “It’s possible APRA might look to slow investor speculation to ease the path for first home buyers.”

Total lending for the month was a record $32 billion, up 95% over the same time last year with owner- occupier loans rising by a record $23.4 billion, 88% higher than last year.

CBA recently tightened buffer rates, which means it will adopt a stricter assessment of the capacity of some borrowers to repay their home loans at higher interest rates. But other lenders, such as Westpac, are set to ease lending conditions for self-employed borrowers.