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Refinancing hits a record high as new loan approvals continue to fall

By Luke O'Kelly

Nerida Conisbee,
Ray White Data Analyst

Rising rates are stressful for most mortgage holders and it is not surprising that the number of people shopping around for the best home loans has skyrocketed. In November, $19.5 billion of home loans were refinanced, the highest level on record and over 20 per cent higher than the same time last year.

Interestingly, the growth in investors refinancing hasn’t been as marked as owner-occupiers. It may be that rising rents are providing a buffer to many investors, with income growth partly offsetting rising repayments.

While there is a rush to refinance, the volume of new loans continues to fall. While owner-occupier loans were still particularly high in November, they are on a sharp trajectory downwards. This is in part driven by fewer people wanting to buy, but also less stock on market. Investor loans are also continuing to head downwards and are now back to where they were in mid-2021. With interest rates expected to again see an increase in February, for now it looks like we will continue to see more refinancing of home loans, and a continual fall in the number of new home loans

Australia’s most affordable streets fall well below the national median, with sales on Norseman’s Downing Street just over a thousandth of those on Point Piper’s Wolseley Road. Such affordability demonstrates an undercapitalised array of suburbs with ample investment access. While expensive streets typically attract a combination of water views, beach or national park access, access to a city centre and large lot sizes, the streets on the affordable list tend to have none of these features, and are likely to be located in a relatively isolated region with low commercial activity or local amenities. Affordable streets are located in a diverse range of states, with regional New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria all making the list.

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