Home loan volumes up in spite of lack of first-time buyers

Adam Smith 7 October 2016

house chart graphRefinancers have driven a rise in home loan volumes.

Figures from mortgage broking group AFG show an 8% rise in home loan volumes for the October quarter. AFG general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt said that while first home buyer numbers remained steady in the single digits, a wave of refinancing drove the rise in volumes.

“Refinancers are driving the activity with a lift from 36% at the beginning of the 2016 financial year to peak at 39% in the last quarter and close steady the first quarter of the 2017 financial year at 38%,” he said.

Upgraders also remained active, at 34% of the group’s volumes, Hewitt said. Investment activity abated slightly, falling from 34% to 32%. Hewitt put the decline down to fears of apartment oversupply, along with regulatory moves to curb investment lending.

“It is well documented that over the past 12 months regulators have been encouraging lenders to tighten up on their investment lending in some areas and they have responded with policy changes and a reduction in discounts being offered,” Hewitt said.

First home buyer participation remained low, sitting at 8% of the group’s total volumes. The result represents the 12th consecutive fiscal quarter in which first home buyers represented less than 10% of the total market.

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