Australia's appetite for debt is showing no signs of abating. The latest data from mortgage broking group AFG showed that, in the past six months, the average Australian mortgage size increased by 5.6% to $317,000 amidst rising property prices.

The data suggests that the increase was fuelled by Western Australia, where average mortgages rose 13.5% in the same period from $325,000 to $376,000.

A 7.4% rise was seen in Victoria to reach $288,000 on average. Queensland saw a 2.8% rise to an average of $290,000.

Kevin Matthews, director of AFG, said: "While we started the year with a two-tier mortgage market, our brokers are telling us that growth in WA is slowing down to more sustainable levels, while in NSW and to a lesser extent Victoria, recovery is underway.

"Our expectations are that these trends will continue in the second half of the year but we expect an increase in fixed rate loans as concerns about a widely-forecast rate rise take hold."

AFG sold $2.6bn of loans across Australia in June 2007 at an average size of $317,000, property investors accounted for 33.7% of those.

The average loan size was highest in NSW at $375,000 and lowest in South Australia at $274,000.

The AFG data shows loan to value ratios (LVRs) in NSW reached 70.8% in June, this is much higher than WA where the figure was 55.1%. Around 38.7% of loans sold were standard variable while 20.4% were fixed and 19.7% basic variable.

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