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NSW mortgage registrations at record March high

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Malavika Santhebennur 5 minute read

Newly originated mortgages and refinance volumes in NSW reached a two-year high in March, while it marked the strongest March for mortgage registrations on title, new figures have revealed.

Data from the latest Residential Mortgage Activity report from NSW Land Registry Services (NSW LRS) showed that in March 2021, there was a 31.9 per cent increase in mortgages registered on title in NSW compared with February 2021.

This represented the strongest March on record for mortgage registrations on title in NSW since mortgages were digitally recorded in 1994.

This was also up from the 17.7 per cent and 8.6 per cent rise recorded in comparable periods for 2020 and 2019, respectively.


The figures also showed that mortgage volumes registered on NSW titles increased by 19.1 per cent when compared with the same quarter in 2020, and by 35.7 per cent more than the same quarter in 2019.

According to NSW LRS, the growth in mortgage volumes has been driven by both new and refinanced mortgage volumes.

Other non-major domestic banks accounted for 13.7 per cent of mortgages “on” title and 7.9 per cent of mortgages “off” title in March 2021, to see an additional 1,534 mortgages in March 2021, representing a 46.7 per cent net increase compared with March 2020.

While the major banks’ share of mortgages “on” title increased to 65.0 per cent (up 18.0 percentage points) and their share of mortgages “off” title decreased 68.3 per cent (down 2.4 percentage points) compared with the same month last year, their net position was still negative in March 2021.

Non-bank lenders were the only other segment to record a net positive position in March 2021, according to NSW LRS.


Refinancing data showed that March 2021 was the second highest month in the past 24 months, up 45.0 per cent in the first quarter.

The NSW LRS said that volumes have increased significantly after declining to pre-COVID-19 levels following the 2020 mid-year refinancing peak.

It also said that while much of the refinancing uptick seen in April to June 2020 favoured major banks, the current increase has tilted towards non-major banks and non-bank lenders.

Non-major domestic banks were the only segment to record a positive net refinance position, with this segment accounting for 17.2 per cent of refinances won and only 9.5 per cent of refinances lost, the data showed.

Meanwhile, major banks lost 1.9 mortgages for each mortgage won from other non-major banks.

All segments recorded growth in newly originated mortgages, with a 41.6 per cent growth recorded in March 2021, compared with February 2021.

New mortgage volumes in the first quarter of 2021 grew by 21.1 per cent compared with the same quarter in 2020, which was up 10.6 per cent on 2019.

Other non-major banks recorded the largest net position with an 11.6 per cent share of new mortgages and a 6.7 per cent share of closed mortgages, resulting in a net gain of 826 mortgages.

Overall, across NSW, mortgages “on” title totalled 24,980 (with 15,418 new and 9,562 won), while “off” title totalled 23,995 (with 14,228 closed and 9,767 lost).

[Related: NSW mortgages rose 14% in 2020]

NSW mortgage registrations at record March high
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Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur

Malavika Santhebennur is the features editor on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.

Before joining the team in 2019, Malavika held roles with Money Management and Benchmark Media. She has been writing about financial services for the past six years.


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