Low interest rates attracting investors while first-home buyers struggle

12 November 2013

Property investors appear to be muscling in on entry-level property with the proportion of mortgages offered to first home buyers hitting record lows. 

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released figures today revealing one in eight mortgages offered to owner occupiers in the month of September were to first home buyers. 

This is the lowest percentaged its been since records of this kind were taken in 1991. 

It comes after recent reductions in the First Home Owners Grant (FHOG) from the government and record low interest rates.

In contrast however, investors' mortgages rose by 5.2 per cent for the month, suggesting first home buyers are being priced out of the market by property investors.

Across the board, there was a jump in the number of new home loans offered to borrowers in September, with the low interest rates on offer having a direct boost to the economy. 

Owner-occupier mortgage approvals jumped by 4.4 per cent in September, and up 12.6 per cent in the 12 months to September. 

JP Morgan economist Ben Jarman told the Herald Sun it appeared first-home buyers were being priced out of the market. 

"We've seen new loan writing proceeding at a pretty robust pace throughout this year and it continues to be driven substantially by the investor community," he said. 

"Their share of new loans held relatively steady, whereas the first-home buyer share has fallen yet again - it is now just around 12 per cent which is the lowest in the history of the recorded data."

"They continue to be priced out which, we think, has been an important phenomenon in keeping overall credit growth pretty low, because first-home buyers being younger and earlier in their careers tend to have less assets and tend to take out larger loans."

In terms of the value of mortgages offered by Australian lenders, investors account for 37.3 per cent of the market.


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