Sales data released by AFG yesterday has painted an encouraging picture for the mortgage industry.
According to AFG’s latest Mortgage Index mortgage sales recorded a stronger than expected result in December.
While total loan volumes slipped down by eight per cent from November, as is traditionally the case before the festive season, they were up by a substantial 11 per cent from December 2007.
This was the first month in all of 2008 during which mortgage sales out-performed the corresponding month in 2007.
Mark Hewitt, AFG general manager of sales and operations, said “it would be premature to call a turn-around in the mortgage market based on a single month’s performance but December figures were an encouraging sign”.
AFG said the relatively strong performance in December could be attributed to continued robust demand from first home buyers (21.2 per cent of mortgages) and refinancing activity (37.2 per cent).
Official housing finance data for November is due for release by the ABS later today.
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