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Mortgages grow as interest rates drop

As we all know, the property market over the past year has seen some contrasting trends. We saw conditions change from the market correction that was still taking place during the first part of 2019, to a rebounding market that surprised many commentators with its strength by the end of the year.

What many local homeowners may not have realised is that Australian mortgages were undergoing a change at the same time.

Most homeowners were happy to watch their home loan rates fall steadily throughout 2019 as the Reserve Bank of Australia reduced official interest rates to a record low of 0.75 per cent during the year. What is interesting is that the latest mortgage loan data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that the market responded almost immediately to these interest rate cuts. In fact, the figures show that the average mortgage for someone buying an existing home has now hit half a million dollars nationally, whilst here in Victoria the average mortgage grew by $64,800 last year to reach $517,900.

If the size of the average mortgage here gets you thinking, spare a thought for those in NSW where the corresponding figure is above $620,000!

The rebound in the market is clearly demonstrated in the latest ABS figures. The total value of home loan approvals jumped 4.4 per cent in December to be 14 per cent higher than the same time in 2018. Indeed, since the market’s most recent low point in May, new home loan approvals have climbed by more than 20 per cent.

First home buyers have also taken advantage of the low interest rates and extra incentives, with loans to market entrants up 38 per cent over the year. First-time buyers accounted for 30 per cent of the owner-occupier market.

First home buyers will also be pleased to know that investors have been slower to respond, with the value of investment lending up by a markedly smaller 2.8 per cent in December, and up by 4.9 per cent over the year.

Figures like these provide a timely reminder of the importance of experienced advice and guidance when buying or selling real estate in Melbourne. If you would like some experienced advice on how to make the most of the current market conditions, be sure to give the team at Barry Plant Thomastown a call on 9466 3233.


Con Constantinou

Barry Plant Thomastown