Home loan borrowing increase for owner-occupiers
Owner-occupiers accounted for $29.2 billion in home loans in October according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The figure is 1 per cent higher than a month earlier. Not all states saw increases though, just ACT, Victoria and Western Australia with declines elsewhere. There was the same percentage rise for investment mortgages, accounting for $12 billion worth of loans. Loans for the construction of new homes were up by 1.5 per cent in October from the month before. 

NSW coast hot spots
Property prices at some hot spots on the New South Wales coast have surged by as much as 15.4 per cent in the past 12 months. The rapid rise is only part of the story though as although parts of the central coast have boomed, there has been a decline of almost 10 per cent in parts of the mid-North coast. A report from The Domain Group shows that there has been a lot of interest in the central coast area as modern lifestyles and working arrangements make it possible to live at the coast and commute to work off-peak, or work from home. Transport infrastructure has been improved too. It is also more affordable than many inner-city areas. The North coast towns that are not performing as well may well see resurgence too though as central coast demand puts prices out of the reach of some buyers.

Alleged mortgage fraudsters charged
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has outlined charges brought against alleged fraudsters who have been charged with conspiracy to defraud big banks and other mortgage lenders. The alleged fraud involves some 350 home loans and around $110 million over the last three and a half years. One of the men charged is believed to be at a senior level of a mortgage brokerage network but has been suspended pending an investigation and the criminal process. 

Mining towns suffering from downturn
Towns that enjoyed the good times when mining was booming are now struggling following the industry’s downturn. Small towns like Muswellbrook, north of Sydney, have seen jobs disappear from what were often the biggest local employers. The town’s mayor Martin Rush told the BBC that that they are working hard to bring new employment through the tourism and equestrian sectors and are planning to bring a university campus to the town. In the meantime Muswellbrook is suffering a familiar situation to many mining-dominated towns.