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AFG, Australia’s largest mortgage broker, processed more home loans in August than since March 2009, according to new figures published today. The latest AFG Mortgage Index shows that the company processed $3,071 million of mortgages in August – an increase of 10% on July figures and 7.4% on August 2011.
AFG has 10% of the total national mortgage market (Source: ABS and AFG data) and its findings are usually reflected in ABS statistics published six weeks later.
The AFG Mortgage Index showed that the proportion of new borrowers choosing fixed interest rates rose from 16.8% in July to 19.9%, as one in five new mortgage holders chooses to lock in rates.
Mark Hewitt, General Manager of AFG says: ‘August is traditionally a strong month for mortgages as property buyers come out of hibernation. What’s different about this year is that borrowers have remained relatively active during the winter months – July was also a very strong month for us. There is a sense that conditions for property buyers are quite positive in terms of pricing and affordability. And a lot of existing borrowers are also taking advantage of heavy competition amongst banks on fixed rates.’
The level of mortgages processed for investors in New South Wales reached a very high level of 44.7% of all new home loans for the state in August. The next strongest state for investors was Queensland on 36.6%, Victoria on 35.2%, South Australia on 29.5% and WA on 29.1%
The reverse trend was true for First Home Buyers. This group was most active in WA, where 20.7% of new home loans were arranged for them, compared to 17.7% in Victoria, 13.4% in South Australia, 13.1% in New South Wales and 13.0% in Queensland.
The relative market share of major vs non major lenders held steady, with majors accounting for 77.8% of all new home loans and non majors 22.2%. Within this, market shares of the different institutions showed a number of movements, to be reported later this month in AFG’s Competition Index.
Download – September Mortgage Index – National