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Buyers turning away from fixed rate loans

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Australian borrowers continue to shy away from fixed rate loans causing the lowest approval level for this loan type in 12 months.

A mere 26% of all loan approvals came from the fixed rate category in June as revealed by national housing data from Mortgage Choice.

National corporate affairs manager for Mortgage Choice Warren O'Rourke said the spiralling popularity has occurred due to unattractive pricing and consumer confidence in rates going forward.

"The majority of people, particularly first homebuyers, are very much driven by price," said O'Rourke. "And what has happened over recent time is that there's a growing body of opinion that rates aren't going to rise in the too distant future. At the same time, fixed rates have started to increase, to the point where they're now more expensive than the basic variable, or in some cases the standard variable with the professional package."

Despite a drop in June, standard variable home loans represented 30% of all approvals nationwide and were as high as 34% in NSW and 33% in Victoria. Demand for basic variable loans increased, reaching 25% in June, up 19% from the previous month. And also seeing growth were line of credit loans, up to 17% from 14% in May.

"Some borrowers have raised a line of credit so they can release some equity from their property to invest in superannuation," said O'Rourke. "Others, if they're investors and want access to some of the equity in their own home to buy an investment property, use a line of credit for that purpose."

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