Mortgage Index – August 2010


But surprise blip in first home buyers in QLD, NSW

Sales of new mortgages fell by 9.1% in July compared to June, and 15.1% compared to July 2009 according to AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker.

The AFG Mortgage Index published today shows that mortgage volumes have been in an almost steady decline since March this year, when the company arranged $2,760 million in mortgages nationally.

The slowing trend for mortgage sales was consistent across most states although Victoria held up strongly until July, when sales there also dipped by 10%.

Mark Hewitt, General Manager Sales & Operations says: ‘Six interest rate rises and an environment of economic uncertainty slowed down the market significantly during the first half of the year. In July we saw additional seasonal factors come into play – the election was called, school holidays during the first two weeks and a wet, cold winter in Eastern States. That said, we did see a pick up in activity towards the end of the month, and we expect stronger figures as we move into spring.’

A surprise in the monthly data was the increase in first home buyer activity, which rose to 11.1% of all mortgage sales nationally compared to 9.5% in June.

The volume of mortgages arranged for first home buyers increased by 6.25% from $192 million in June to $204 million, with large jumps recorded for QLD (23% up from $30 million in June to $37 million in July) and NSW (9.8% up from $61 million in June to $67 million in July). First home buying activity rose slightly in WA ($43 million in June to $45 million in July), but declined in South Australia ($6.1 million in June to $5.4 million in July) and Victoria ($51 million in June to $47 million in July).

The increase in first home buyer activity confirms reports elsewhere that while mid to upper levels of property markets are slowing down, there is still an appetite for property around and below $500k.

Download – August Mortgage Index – National