AFG’s latest Mortgage Index results released today shows that major structural change in the Australian lending landscape is continuing. “Today’s results paint a very different picture from this time last year,” said AFG CEO David Bailey. “Regulator-led tightening of investor lending has led to a further drop in investor volume and they are now sitting at an all time low of 29% of the market.
The shift in lender appetite from investors to upgraders is also evident in average loan size. “The national average home loan is now sitting at an all time high of $491,000,” said Mr Bailey. “This increase can be explained by the fact that people generally spend more for their primary place of residence than they do for an investment property.
The number of people looking to refinance has dropped to 25%, whilst those keen to upgrade their living situation is increasing with upgraders now representing 41% of the market. “This is also likely to be a reflection of the lack of lending options on the table for investors wanting to refinance, as lenders pull back from the investor market to meet regulator demands,” said Mr Bailey.
The major lenders’ share of the market is also down to a post-GFC low of 64.4% as borrowers continue to explore alternatives outside of the major bank owned brands.
Looking at loan type, fixed rates are now at 26.3% of all loans which confirms many Australians are anticipating that the next interest rate move will be up,” said Mr Bailey.
First home buyers are enjoying their third consecutive quarter in double digits since the beginning of 2014. “National market share for first home buyers has lifted to 13% across the last quarter, helped in part by new stamp duty concessions kicking in on July 1 for this segment of the market in Victoria and New South Wales.”
Victoria continues to set the pace with lodgement volumes in that state up 27% on the first quarter of last year whilst every other state has lost momentum to varying degrees. The strength of the Victorian home market is also evidenced in the average loan size for that state, which is 5% higher than it was at the same time last year.
“Overall, volumes are up on the previous two quarters, however, compared to the same time last year they are flat. This translates into the view that regulator-led changes are being felt everywhere except Victoria,” concluded Mr Bailey.