AFG reports record January figures with $2.2 billion of mortgages approved
AFG mortgage brokers wrote $2.2 billion worth of mortgages in January, the highest cumulative value on record for the group for the first month of the calendar year.
This was 24% higher than mortgages written by AFG in January 2012 of $1.82 billion - despite natural disasters in Queensland and NSW last month.
Driving demand were strong levels of activity in WA and NSW.
In WA mortgage volumes were somewhat higher than for NSW ($583 million compared with $569 million) with a variety of buyer types including first home buyers, upgraders and investors.
AFG says NSW would have been even stronger except for the slump in first-home buyer demand by about two thirds since the withdrawal of first home buyer grants for established properties last September.
“Borrowers seem to be responding to the combination of a more positive, global economic outlook, lower rates and enhanced affordability,” says Mark Hewitt, general manager of sales and operations at AFG.“These figures build on other statistics published recently showing an uplift in activity in property markets. But we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that first home buyer activity in Queensland and NSW is only one third of the long term AFG average of around 15% of all home loans processed," he says.
Fixed rate loans fell to their lowest level since August 2011, comprising 16.3% of all new home loans with standard variable mortgages the most popular comprising two-thirds of loans arranged over January.
Non major lenders (regional banks and non-bank lenders) managed to claw back some of the gains majors made last month, especially among first-home buyers, where they have 24.8% of this market.
AFG bills itself as Australia's largest mortgage broker, writing one in 10 home loans in Australia through its broker members.
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