First home buyers continue to take little part in the current housing market despite exceptionally low mortgage rates, says research house RP Data.
In February, first home buyers accounted for just 12.5% of all owner occupier finance commitments. The proportion of first home buyers fell from 13.2% in January 2014 and 14.4% a year earlier. In terms of the volume, there was actually an increase in the number of first home buyers over the month, up 0.6% however, year-on-year the number of first home buyers is down 1.5% .
Housing finance data also showed the total value of residential mortgages outstanding to ADIs is $1.275 trillion, RP Data said. The amount outstanding has increased by 6.6% over the past year.
But RP Data also pointed to recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics housing finance statistics for February, which showed over the month there were 52,460 housing finance commitments to owner occupiers – the highest monthly volume of commitments since October 2009.
The data is separated into owner occupier refinance and owner occupier non-refinance commitments. Refinance commitments rose by 6.0% over the month and were 15.8% higher over the year. Non-refinance commitments are also trending higher, up 0.6% over the month and 12.9% higher year-on-year.
The total value of investment finance commitments hit fresh record highs after a slight dip in January, RP Data said. Over the month there were $10.7 billion in finance commitments to investors, a 4.4% monthly increase and a 32.3% year-on-year increase. Investors accounted for 38.8% of all lending in February, the highest level recorded since late 2003.
There are houses to buy, however – with the number of newly advertised property listings 18.6% higher than at the same time last year. Over the four weeks to 6 April, there were 46,357 newly advertised properties listed for sale nationally. Across the combined capital cities, new listings were 25.3% higher than a year ago, RP Data said.
There are currently 244,805 properties listed for sale across the country. Capital city listings account for 42% of all listings nationally.
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