New lending figures reveal a 6 per cent increase in investor loans over the month of December.
In total, 53,920 loans were approved over the month – up from 52,479 during the month prior.
Mortgage Choice spokesperson Jessica Darnbrough said the last time more than 53,000 home loans were approved in one month was five years ago.
“We haven’t seen this level of demand for home loans since October 2009,” Ms Darnbrough said.
“The investor market was largely responsible for the lift in home loan demand, with investment borrowing soaring 6 per cent over the month to $12.6 billion,” she said.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows investors now account for approximately 41 per cent of all new loans written – the highest level on record.
The growing demand for investment properties ultimately pushed first home buyers down to their lowest share of the home loan market in 10 years.
But while the percentage of first home buyers entering the market is down, Ms Darnbrough said the number of loans written for this segment is on the rise.
“More than 8,200 home loans were written for first home buyers in November – up from 7,628 the month prior,” she said.
Ms Darnbrough said that in the future, historically low rates combined with moderate dwelling value growth will ensure home loan demand remains strong.
“Recent research conducted by [CoreLogic] RP Data shows dwelling values climbed by a healthy 7.9 per cent throughout 2014,” she said.
“While this level of growth was down slightly on the year before, early indications suggest 2015 will be another year of relatively strong property growth, which is likely to inspire investors as well as other borrowers.”
Ms Darnbrough said she also would not be surprised to see a lift in refinancing activity as home owners look to take advantage of the historically low rates and see whether or not they can secure themselves a better deal at a better rate.