While 2021 may have been the year of saving, Australians did start to loosen the purse strings a little by the end of the year. Lending for mortgages hit record levels in November while credit card lending also increased, according to the latest APRA data.

Home loans to owner occupiers increased by $11.2 billion while lending to investors rose by $2 billion. At the same time credit card lending rose by 6.3% ($1.7 billion) in November.

APRA says it is watching carefully as debt-to-income ratios rise but says it won’t implement any new measures to cool lending until it gauges the effect of itsmove late last year to increase the interest rate buffer.

ANZ lending to owner occupiers dropped 0.44% to $1.74 billion between November 2020 and 2021. But Macquarie owner-occupier mortgages increased to $447 million compared with the same month in 2020, while CBA wrote $3.33 billion in new owner- occupier mortgages and Westpac $2.54 billion.