Increases in the number of mortgage applications have tapered off during the March quarter, according to the latest data from consumer credit reporting agency Equifax.
The annual rate of growth in home loan applications eased to +4.3% year-on-year in the first quarter this year, down from +6.6% from the quarter prior.
The strongest growth was seen in Tasmania where applications surged by +22.6%. This was followed by the ACT (+12.2%), NSW (+9.1%), Victoria (+6.6%), South Australia (+1.0%) and Queensland (+0.3%).
Loan applications in Western Australia (-12.3%) and the Northern Territory (-8.9%) fell for the third consecutive quarter.
WA had the largest decline with the number of mortgage applications dropping by 1.7% from the December to March quarters.
“In recent quarters, the Index has shown mortgage demand growth in Tasmania which we are now seeing filter through to house prices, with prices rising in Hobart by +8% in December 2016 compared to December 2015. Based on the latest surge in demand we expect this upward trend in Tasmanian house-prices to continue,” said Angus Luffman, senior general manager of consumer products at Equifax.
“At the other end of the market, the continued decline in mortgage applications in WA and the NT, reflecting the economic downturns both states are experiencing, suggests that the downward trend will not abate anytime soon.”
Increases and decreases for growth in mortgage applications were broadly in line with the underlying trends observed, he told Australian Broker
Equifax data looking at mortgage demand over the last six quarters is as follows:
Home loan approvals drop in February
Housing market sentiment at three year high
Investment lending soars 20%