The level of loans taken out for investment purposes surges to a new height for the second month in a row, new data has shown. The AFG Mortgage Index revealed that in April, 33.8% of the new mortgages sold were taken by investors rather than owner-occupiers - a significant increase compared to a year ago. Western Australia and Queensland are still driving the investor market. Around 47.9% of mortgages sold in WA went to investors, while investors took 32% of new mortgages sold in Queensland. However, it was the renewed enthusiasm among investors in NSW and Victoria which boosted the strong numbers for two consecutive months. Mark Hewitt, general manager of sales and operations, said: "It's seldom that we see the indicators for every state looking positive, but right now that's exactly what's happening. The levelling off in interest rates is just what property markets on the east coast need to build up a momentum." AFG's figures show that the average home loan in Australia now stands at $307,000, with the highest average loans in NSW ($362,000) followed by WA ($352,000) then Queensland ($288,000), Victoria ($277,000) and South Australia ($231,000). Loan to value ratios (LVR) are highest in Victoria at 73% and lowest in WA at 55.4%. The largest number of loans sold was standard variable (34.9%), while 24.2% were fixed and 19.8% were basic variable.

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