Mortgage Index – May 2015
Record for the month of April driven by Melbourne & Sydney property investment
The housing market’s strong 2015 performance continued during April with AFG processing total mortgages of $4,380 million for the month. This compares with $3,674 million in April 2014 and is a record for the month of April. In keeping with seasonal trends, the figure is somewhat lower than the $5,236 million recorded for March, because of the Easter holidays, when property markets are typically more subdued.
The result reflected increasing Victoria investor activity, combined with already strong NSW investor activity. AFG processed a higher proportion of home loans for investors in Victoria last month than ever before at 40.9%, up from 36.7% in March 2015, and 36.9% in April 2014. In NSW, the proportion of investor mortgages remained around its all-time high of 52.8% of applications.
Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: “Investor activity in both Sydney and Melbourne is now at the highest levels we have recorded in 21 years. Elsewhere it’s a different story – for example in Western Australia, where first home buyers comprise a much larger proportion of buyers than elsewhere, property investment cooled somewhat last month.”
Queensland property investment rose to 36.7% in April from 33.3% in March, in South Australia there was an increase from 37.7% to 38.2%, and in WA figures softened from 33.6% to 32.8%. First home buyer figures remained at low levels across all of Australia, except for WA, comprising just 2% of new mortgages in NSW, 6.4% in SA, 7.7% in QLD, 8.9% in VIC and 18% in WA.
The proportion of new borrowers choosing fixed home loans was 13.6%, continuing an overall decline since October 2014 when 18.2% of borrowers chose to fix their rates.
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