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Borrowers in New South Wales and Victoria led the sharp rebound in loan commitments.

Australian Refinance Home Loan Melbourne borrowers came rushing back in November last year, driving a rebound in overall value of new loan commitments for housing.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed a 6.3% growth in the value of new housing loan commitments (excluding refinancing) to $31.4bn.

The value of owner-occupier housing recovered strongly, ending the five-month period of declines with a growth of 7.6%.

This recent gain in owner-occupier financing was the first increase since May 2021 and the largest since January 2021.

BIS Oxford Economics senior economist Maree Kilroy said two states led the rebound in Best Home Loan Refinance Rates activity among owner-occupiers over the month.

“Coming out of lockdowns, pent up demand to transact saw owner-occupier loans rebound solidly in New South Wales (up 9.6%) and Victoria (up 9.7%) which drove much of the national result,” she said.Mortgage Broker Near Me

Busy month for first-home buyers, investors

The first-home buyer segment also reported gains in the month, breaking the downtrend that started in January 2021.

Over the month, the number of new loan commitments to first-time buyers rose by 1.9%. On an annual basis, however, activity was down 17.4%.

Victorian first-home buyers were the most active, reporting a 12.3% growth in the month. Increases were also seen in New South Wales and Western Australia.

ABS head of finance and wealth Katherine Keenan said investors continued to widen their share in the market.

“Activity in the investor market was also strong. The value of new loan commitments to investors rose 3.8% reaching a new all-time high of $10.1bn,” she said.

Investor lending has already grown for the past 13 months, accounting for around a third of the value of new housing loan commitments.

“The previous investor lending peak in April 2015 accounted for 46% of new housing loan commitments,” Ms Keenan said.

Bluestone Home Loans consultant economist Dr Andrew Wilson said despite the gains in lending activity, recent factors, including the latest COVID variant, could potentially impact the performance of the lending market in the coming months.

“The outlook clearly remains mixed with affordability barriers, the satisfaction of pent-up demand, and uncertainty – and the reimposition of restrictions – regarding the current severe coronavirus outbreak, set to reduce home buying activity over coming months,” he said.

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Record low interest rates have driven Australian housing prices up 22 per cent last year — its sharpest rise in three decades.

Key points:
  • Housing prices rose 1 per cent nationally in December, with regional markets up 2.2pc and capital cities 0.6pc
  • Hobart had the biggest capital city price increase over the past year (28.1pc) while Perth had the smallest rise (13.1pc)
  • Listings in Sydney and Melbourne have recently surged

The nation’s median property price has risen for a 15th straight month. It comes after another 1 per cent gain in December, according to the latest figures from CoreLogic.

But prices have been rising at a slower pace each month, as property became increasingly unaffordable for first-home buyers.

Last month, Australia’s median price rose by 1 per cent to $709,803.Mortgage Broker Prahran

Sydney had a small increase, by 0.3 per cent, while prices in Melbourne fell by 0.1 per cent in December.

“A surge in freshly advertised listings through December has been a key factor in taking some heat out of the Melbourne and Sydney housing markets,” CoreLogic’s research director Tim Lawless said.

Prices in Australia’s two most expensive capitals were also affected by “demand headwinds caused by significant affordability constraints and negative interstate migration,” he added.

While the pace of capital gains has been easing in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, prices in other capital cities have lifted sharply.

Prices in Brisbane and Adelaide went up by 2.9 per and 2.6 per cent in December, showing a two-speed market emerging across capital cities.

For the second year in a row, prices in regional areas went up at a much faster rate, compared to the capital cities.

Since March 2020, housing values across regional Australia were up 32 per cent, compared to a 20 per cent lift in values seen across the combined capitals.

However, AMP chief economist Shane Oliver said “storm clouds are gathering for the property boom”.

“We expect a further slowing in national home price gains ahead of a peak and then price falls from later this year and in 2023,” he said in a note.

Mr Oliver added that reflected poor affordability, rising mortgage rates and higher interest rate buffers in Australia.

“It’s unclear what impact the latest COVID wave, driven by the Omicron variant, will have on the property market. It will likely reduce buyer confidence, but it could also dampen listings,” he said.

“The 25-year bull market in capital city property prices is likely to come under pressure in the years ahead, as the 30-year decline in Best Mortgage Broker Sydney is now likely over.

“The collapse in immigration over the last two years may help remove the chronic undersupply of Australian housing, and the work-from-home phenomenon may take pressure off capital city prices.”

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