'Turning point' reached as investors get active

by Ben Abbott05 Dec 2011

Australian Finance Group recorded its highest mortgage volume since March 2009 in November, following a rate cut that AFG's Mark Hewitt has called a 'turning point' in the market.

AFG's processed $2.9bn in mortgages nationally in November, up 18.4% on October's figures. Victoria led the charge with 26.7% month-on-month growth, followed by Queensland at 20.8%.

Investors took the lion's share of the market, accounting for almost two in every five mortgages sold or 38.4% of volumes nation-wide. This was an all-time record for AFG's six-year-old Mortgage Index.

While November is a traditionally strong month for brokers in the rush to settle before the end of the year, AFG's general manager of operations Mark Hewitt said the RBA cut had stimulated demand.

"We’re experiencing the paradox that weaker global economic conditions and lower rates, is good news for Australian property buyers - at least for now," Hewitt said.

"It’s significant that investors and first home buyers are leading the action. Many had been fearful that we were locked into a scenario of constant rate hikes. The November rate cut proved to be a real a turning point and the outlook is very different now," he said.

First homebuyers accounted for 15.8% of AFG's mortgage volumes, which while down on the 16.4% recorded last month is still at a levevl higher than all the other months this year.

Fixed rate home loans also remain high at 17.2% of all loans processed, which is a decrease from 20.4% last month but is still above long term averages.

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