For the first time since its reporting began, AFG, Australia's largest mortgage broker, has shown that mortgage sales in WA fell every month for the first three months of the year, when compared to sales for the same three months of 2007.
For the first time since its reporting began, AFG, Australia's largest mortgage broker, has shown that mortgage sales in WA fell every month for the first three months of the year, when compared to sales for the same three months of 2007. Overall, quarterly mortgage sales in WA declined by 14.2%.
This sales contraction is unprecedented in AFG's experience: until this year, the company has never seen sales fall for more than a single month, when compared with data from a previous year.
National sales declined by the same amount of 14.2% in the first quarter of 2008 compared to the first quarter of 2007.
The worst affected state was NSW, where sales declined by 18.9%, followed by Queensland (16.4%), South Australia (11.6%) and Victoria (4.9%).
Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales & Operations says: 'A sales decline for an entire quarter is unprecedented in our experience. There's no doubt that the high interest rate regime has already done its work, supporting the RBA decision last week not to increase rates still further.'
Along with the decline in mortgage sales overall, AFG Mortgage Index shows that refinancing continues at record levels, with 39.3% of all mortgages being arranged to refinance existing properties, rather than to buy new ones.
Also at near record levels were Fixed Rate mortgages, with 24% of mortgage buyers opting for fixed rates, suggesting that many people wished to lock in rates ahead of last week's RBA meeting - where the decision was taken to hold rates steady.
Perth-based AFG is Australia's largest mortgage broker with 10.4% of the WA market (Source: ABS and AFG statistics). While AFG figures are not definitive, they are usually strongly indicative of more comprehensive figures released later each month by other institutions.
Figures for each state are available at: www.afgonline.com.au under News.