Mortgage Index – May 2013


Fixed rates push to new high

The number of mortgages processed last month was 40% higher than in April 2012 according to AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker. The monthly AFG Mortgage Index shows that the company processed $3.2 billion in home loans compared to $2.2 billion a year ago.

April’s $3.2 billion figure was the company’s largest ever volume for one month – following a record-breaking month in March, when the broker arranged $3.17 billion in home loans. For the past three years, April figures have been lower than in March, but this year’s surge bucked the trend.

AFG has 10% of the total mortgage market in Australia (Source: AFG and ABS statistics) and its figures are usually indicative of the ABS report published 6 weeks later.

Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: ‘With greater certainty that low rates will be with us for some time, we’re seeing more confidence in the market than for some time. But recovery, like property price growth, is very patchy. For example, in both NSW and QLD first home buyers comprise only 3.5% of the market – about a quarter of the long term figure. The broker share of the market looks to be growing as borrowers become increasingly aware of the choice that exists, and the benefit of getting professional help to secure the best deal.’

Fixed rate loans, already at an all-time high of 29.6% in March, rose to a new record of 30.7% of all home loan types in April, as more borrowers choose to lock in historically low rates (Table 5).

Non-major lenders managed to claw back some market share, rising from 20.7% in March to 21.1% in April. This figures is, however, still lower than previous months, and a peak of 24.0% in September 2012 (Table 2).

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