Second-tier lenders lost much of the market share they gained in late 2013 as the big four took advantage of record January mortgage figures.
The latest figures from AFG show total non-major market share fell to 24% in January, the lowest figure since May 2013 and 2.4% lower than December’s figures.
The drop in market share comes as AFG recorded its strongest January ever, with the company processing over $2.58 billion of home loans – 14% more than in January 2013.
The continuing strength of the investor market supported the strong result, says Mark Hewitt
, general manager of sales and operations at AFG.
“We’ve had a very strong start to the year, with continuing trends of high investment activity in NSW and robust first home buyer activity in WA,” says Hewitt.
“With most people expecting the historically low rates to remain with us for much of the year, we’re preparing for even higher levels of activity now that people are getting back to work from the summer holidays.”
There was also a slight rise in the number of first home buyers in January, up to 11.8% from 10.2% in December.
This rise was mainly driven by a resurgence in Victoria, from 8.7% in December to 11.2% in January, as well as a rise in WA, where first home buyers grew from 21.8% in December to 24.2% of all new home loans in January. Elsewhere, the division between states offering grants versus those than don’t remains stark: in SA, first home buyers comprise 15.5% of all buyers, while in QLD this proportion is 6.5% and NSW 3.4%.
The statistics also show the proportion of borrowers opting for fixed rate loans fell to 23.9% - its lowest level in a year.