Mortgage Index – January 2014

SYDNEY INVESTORS DRIVE 19% MORTGAGE GROWTH: LATEST AFG FIGURES

The volume of mortgages processed by AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker, jumped by 18.9% in the second half of 2013. AFG’s latest Mortgage Index, published today, shows that the company arranged $21.7 billion in home loans during the second half of 2013 compared to $18.3 billion in the first half. The July to December figure is 18.9% higher than for the first half of the year, and 27% higher than for the same period in 2012.

While the overall national picture shows very robust growth, significant differences were revealed between the different states. New South Wales showed the largest increase, with mortgage volumes in the second half of the year powering 33% above first half levels. In Victoria, the increase was 21%, Queensland 13%, Western Australia 8% and South Australia 6%.

Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: ‘There’s no question that New South Wales was Investment Central during the second half of 2013, with a lot of mortgage activity accounted for by Sydney focused investors, upgraders and people looking to refinance. The dearth of first home buyers in NSW continues to be a long term concern. Even if investment activity levels in Sydney taper during 2014, elsewhere in the country we’re seeing solid, sustainable growth, with first home buyers underpinning the long-term health of the markets, especially in SA and WA.’

The AFG Mortgage Index also shows that average Loan to Value Ratios – the value of a loan expressed as a proportion of the value of a property – fell to 67.3% in December, their lowest level since June 2012 (66.9%). This reflects the high proportion of activity by investors, who tend to have greater equity levels than first home buyers. States with stronger levels of first home buyer activity also had higher average LVRs – WA (71.3%) and SA (70.0%).

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