Investor lending and interest-only lending has been hit hard by regulation, data from AFG and ASIC reveal. AFG’s latest Mortgage Index recorded a decline in investor lending to 29% of the market, an all-time low which AFG CEO David Bailey put down to “regulator-led tightening of investor lending”. Compared to the same time last year AFG’s volumes are flat, Bailey revealed.
The regulator looked at 16 lenders and found non-major lenders had only “partially offset this decline”; overall numbers were down from $19bn in the September quarter of 2015 to $14.3bn in the June 2017 quarter.
Upgraders and FHBs return
As investors fall back, upgraders and first home buyers are becoming a larger part of the market.
41% of loans now go to upgraders, according to AFG’s figures, with first home buyers up to 13%.
However, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics are put FHBs at 17.2% of total housing finance commitments, “driven mainly by changes to first home buyer incentives made in July by the New South Wales and Victorian governments.”
AFG’s average loan size rose to $491,000, and according to CEO Bailey “this increase can be explained by the fact that people generally spend more for their primary place of residence than they do for an investment property.”