Home loans fall in Western Australia over 2016

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The Australian Finance Group reported a 13.5 per cent fall in the number of home loans in Western Australia over the 2016 financial year, posting fresh evidence of post-mining boom malaise in WA's property sector. Just last week, CoreLogic RP Data also released a report showing Perth's median house price falling by 7.4 per cent over the past 18 months—the worst among all the capital cities.

On a national level, the AFG's overall loan volume grew by seven per cent over the financial year, driven by strong results in Victoria and New South Wales. Victorian home loans were up 16.6 per cent while NSW and South Australia rose 12.2 per cent. Similarly, Queensland recorded a lift of 4.2 per cent.

"The numbers are strong despite a turbulent run to the end of the financial year and the longest election campaign in memory finally coming to a close," said Mark Hewitt, AFG general manager of sales and operations. "Talk of negative gearing changes and changes to investment lending has seen many home buyers sit on their hands."

Hewitt further said that 38 per cent of AFG's processed home loans in 2015 to 2016 were for refinancing as borrowers take advantage of the low interest rates.

"With interest rates at record lows are quite rightly checking with their mortgage broker to ensure they are not paying too much for their home loan," he said. "The number of people choosing to stay in their homes and upgrade rather than move is also at historical highs, closing out the financial year at 33 per cent of borrowers."

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