AFG has announced its highest February sales in history in a month when borrowers flocked back to fixed rates.
The broker has announced sales of $2.8bn for the month, trumping 2011's result of $2bn and 2010's sales of $2.2bn. AFG also stated that record numbers of borrowers were gravitating toward fixed rates in the wake of banks decoupling from the cash rate.
AFG general manager of sales and operations, Mark Hewitt, said the data indicated the dynamics of the mortgage market were shifting.
"The very good news is that the past six months has seen a steady stream of first homebuyers return, which is vital to the future of property markets. As well as this, increasing competition among major and non major lenders, and the decoupling of lender rate announcements from the RBA is making the mortgage market a more complex place," Hewitt said.
"This is an environment in which brokers thrive, because borrowers know they really need to shop around for the best deal, and increasingly rely on us to do so," he said.
The proportion of fixed rate loans rose to its highest at 23.2%, while average loan size cracked the $400,000 mark.
There was good news for smaller lenders as well. Major banks lost some of their market power, with their share of home loans dropping from 79% in January to 76.1% in February. AFG said the change was due to an increasing trend among first homebuyers to seek out non-major lenders.
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