Centrix reports further falls in lending

Credit reporting agency Centrix says the pressure of inflation is continuing to cause lending levels to drop.

It says the demand for consumer credit was down 9% in the year to the end of May and the demand for mortgages was down by a bigger margin - 27% over the same period.

And those who did get mortgages borrowed less – the value of home loans fell 38% year-on year to the end of April.

Consumer credit arrears were up 12% year-on-year up to the end of April, while new consumer finance loans fell 17% due to weaker consumer confidence and a more challenging lending environment.

Centrix reported there was a silver lining – business credit was up, thanks to the retail trade and hospitality showing strong signs of recovery. There was also a growth in new company registrations.

Centrix also said the number of home loans in arrears has been getting steadily smaller, and there was a similar improvement with motor vehicle loans.   But it appeared some people might have been prioritising those payments, because some other loans, such as Buy Now Pay Later schemes were showing worse levels of arrears.

And credit scores have been dropping, suggesting that there could be higher rates of arrears over the horizon.

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