The figures show the value of dwelling commitments for investment housing-fixed loans increasing for the second consecutive month, by 1.9%, and a return to growth in the number of loans for the purchase of new dwellings, by 3.0%.
However, the drop in loan demand for the other major categories shows rising interest rates appear to be having an effect on the more vulnerable buying group – owner occupiers. While the value of new investor loans rose, the value of owner occupied commitments fell 4.7%. Hence, the total value of dwelling commitments decreased by 2.8%.
The number of first homebuyer dwelling commitments fell by 7.8% to 12,054 from 13,079.
Mortgage Choice CEO Michael Russell said, “The increase in investor loan demand for the second consecutive month should help quieten the ‘doom and gloomers’ who have been very vocal in asking what will happen to the market now the number of first homebuyers is reducing.”
“This said, December’s fall in demand from owner occupiers, due in part to fewer first homebuyers, is a concern and something that needs to be watched closely. It should serve as a warning to the Reserve Bank that although consumer and business sentiment is high, many of Australia’s potential mortgage holders are still feeling unsettled and need a longer break from interest rate rises.
“Rate increases, underemployment and the global aftershocks of the financial crisis are having a significant impact on their confidence in stepping into a property right now. I suggest there is no need to raise interest rates this quarter at least – we need to see the full effect on consumers of the changes our economy has taken them through in recent times.”
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Mortgage Choice, Australia’s largest independently-
A number of the company’s consultants provide a broader service offering, also helping customers source personal and commercial loans, asset finance and risk insurance.
Importantly, Mortgage Choice pays franchisees the same commission rate for home loans they write, regardless of the rate paid by the lender selected by a new customer. The company has no products of its own and works in each customer’s interests to source a loan that suits their individual needs.
Mortgage Choice has no balance sheet or funding risk, and consistently delivers strong profits and attractive yields. The company listed on the ASX in August 2004 and is a member of the Mortgage & Finance Association of Australia.