Mortgage sale figures released by the Australian Finance Group (AFG) yesterday revealed a dramatic fall in consumer confidence and willingness to borrow.
During May mortgage sales fell to 6,691 – the lowest amount recorded since AFG’s Mortgage Index began.
The result was 6.1 per cent down on April and a significant 31.5 per cent lower than in May last year.
AFG said this was particularly unusual as May usually represented a high point in annual sales, before sales reduced over the winter months.
The index also revealed a swing in the number of consumers taking out introductory rates – rising from just 5.8 per cent in the beginning of the year to 12.8 per cent in May.
Mark Hewitt, AFG general manager of sales and operations, said the figures showed just how fearful consumers were about the rising costs of food, fuel and mortgage repayments.
“Consumer confidence has taken an absolute pounding,” he said.
“The difference in mood between now and six months ago is like night and day.”
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