AFG WELCOMES RATE CUT DECISION AFTER A FLAT SEPTEMBER: LATEST MORTGAGE FIGURES
AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker, welcomes yesterday’s RBA rate cut after latest figures showed that mortgages processed in September were flat compared with the same month last year. AFG processed $2.7 billion of loans last month compared with $2.6 billion in September 2011.
Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: ‘We welcome the RBA decision. Both the figures and our brokers are saying that while there are some areas of confidence, things are generally very patchy. The property market has been slow to emerge from winter and whilst no one is expecting any dramatic rebounds, the interest rate cut will help.’
The AFG Mortgage Index showed that fixed rate loans reached a four year high last month on the back of aggressive competition amongst lenders.
21.5% of all new borrowers chose to lock in rates with 3 year fixed loans being particularly popular. The last time that fixed rate loans were so popular was in March 2008 when 24% of borrowers chose to lock in rates.
There was also some movement on Loan to Value Ratios – the value of home loans expressed as a percentage of property prices. LVRs have risen from 66.9% in June to 69% in September, reflecting the increase of first home buyers in the market, who tend to borrow more, and possibly an increased preparedness by other borrower types to take on greater levels of debt.
Non major banks also gained market share, from 22.2% in August to 24% in September, their highest share since December last year. While strongest among first home buyers, where they comprise over 1 in 4 new home loans, non majors also grew market share among investors and borrowers seeking to refinance.
Download – October Mortgage Index – National