According to analysis undertaken by comparison website comparethemarket.com.au, in partnership with mortgage broking services group AFG, the total volume of mortgages lodged in the first quarter of the 2018 financial year totalled $4.9 billion, up from $4.45 billion the prior quarter.
On a year-on-year basis, the growth was more marked, recording a 17 per cent increase.
In comparison, NSW only recorded a 1 per cent increase in mortgages lodged over the September quarter, with the year-on-year figure actually showing a 4 per cent decline to $5.2 billion.
Total funds lodged in real estate transactions in the mining state of Western Australia remained depressed; for the fifth straight quarter, WA had a 3 per cent decline in the volume of funds lodged between the fourth quarter of the previous financial year and the first quarter of this financial year.
WA mortgages were down by a whopping 19 per cent year-on-year to $1.5 billion.
In Queensland, between the end of the previous financial year and the first quarter of the current one, there was a 2 per cent decline in the volume of funds lodged through AFG, with year-on-year transaction figures sitting at -8 per cent.
Overall, there was a jump in AFG’s home loan volumes from $14.5 billion to $15.1 billion since last quarter.
Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Abigail Koch said that the figures show that the property market is “facing a fork in the road” ahead of potential rising interest rates and in response to “a bull run in real estate”, as borrowers and lenders respond to tighter lending rules.
She commented: “Existing and prospective property owners need to do their homework as Sydney’s property market is plateauing after recent highs, while other markets like Melbourne are improving, which will produce plenty of good buying opportunities, but also risks in some markets.”
Ms Koch noted that investor loans were at the lowest level since the first quarter of FY2013, at just 29 per cent of all transactions lodged last quarter — reflecting changes in prudential standards — while the number of borrowers refinancing loans has dropped from 29 per cent of AFG loans processed in the final quarter of FY2017 to 25 per cent this quarter.
[Related: Refi boom winding down: AFG]
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.