Increase in upgrader activity helps fuel strong home loan processing results

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The total value of home loans processed by AFG’s brokers for the quarter of September 2015 was at $14.161 billion—an increase of almost 16% from the same period last year, according to the brokerage’s Mortgage Index report.

“A key driver of the strong result was activity from upgraders – owner occupiers changing properties. In the June quarter 28% of the loans we processed were for homeowners making a move but this lifted to 34% for the September quarter. This activity is consistent with the traditional spring buying season which is now well underway,” said Brett McKeon, managing director for AFG.

McKeon noted that many borrowers are aware that the market is changing, with continued low interest rates and lender policy changes for investment and interest only lending. Due to these developments, borrowers are relying on professional brokers for help.

A shift in requirements for lenders set down by APRA, however, is having an impact on total flows with investment lending for the quarter down from a three year average of 38% of total loans processed, to 33%.

“We have noticed in the latter part of the quarter that the percentage of our business comprised of investment lending stabilized at 32 – 33% so it appears that the last round of changes have now flowed through the system,” McKeon said.

The report detailed that fixed home loans were at their lowest level for more than three years at 11.3% of total loans processed for the quarter. This was likely due to the record low interest rates and the speculation that there may be further decreases according to industry experts.

Pricing and policy changes made by major financial institutions allowed non-majors to regain 2% in market share in the investor space over the quarter. This is more evidence that borrowers are using brokers to help them find alternative mortgage options.


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