Mortgage Index – January 2012


Non major lenders increased their share of the home loan market by almost a quarter in December, according to figures released today by AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker. AFG Mortgage Index shows an increase of 23.9% by non major lenders in the month of December, the biggest such increase recorded all year. This took the total non major market share to 24.3%, compared to an average of 19.1% over the previous twelve months.

Borrowers looking to refinance their home loans were responsible for much of the shift, with non majors seeing their share of this sector rising from 21.0% to 28.8% during the month – an increase of 37%. In the past, both the refinancing and investment home loan markets have been tightly held by the majors, with First Home Buyers showing the greatest willingness to try non majors. But the December figures reveal a significant change, with non major market share rising among refinancers to around the same level as First Home Buyers – 28%.

Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: ‘We’re always cautious about reading too much into any one month’s set of figures. But there’s no question that the market is becoming increasingly competitive and that non majors did particularly well last month. This trend will help keep rates competitive as we move into 2012. If the expected rate reductions come through over the next quarter, we could see a very different lending environment, supporting the recovery of property markets across Australia.’

AFG Mortgage Index shows the proportion of fixed rate loans rise to 19.2% in December, up from 17.2% the month before, as more borrowers chose to lock in rates. This figures is not far off the high of 20.4% for fixed rate loans recorded in October.

Seasonal trends saw mortgage sales volumes decline month on month by 26% in December, which together with January are quieter months for the industry. But compared to December 2010, sales volumes were up by 5.4% nationally.

Across Australia, NSW’s December sales volume increased on December 2010 by 15.6%, QLD 7.7%, South Australia a very strong 44.8%, with contractions recorded for WA (3.9%) and VIC (8.9%).

Download – January Mortgage Index – National

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