Fewer Australians plan to take out a real estate mortgageloan over the next 12 months, leading to fears the mortgage market will slow. A survey in May by the Mortgage and Finance Association of Australia (MFAA) and BankWest found almost one in five of the 814 respondents expected to take out a new home loan in the next 12 months, down from 25.9 per cent in November 2006. The number of people who are unsure or never expect to take out a home loan rose to 37.2 per cent from 32.6 per cent in November.
MFAA chief executive Phil Naylor said the changes indicated more potential first time home buyers perceived home ownership to be out of reach.
The survey showed that 61.6 per cent of respondents expected residential real estate property prices to rise in the next quarter, up strongly from 43 per cent in November. However, Mr Naylor said other findings showed a more positive outlook than six months earlier. “More people are confident mortgage interest rates will stay put for now … and more people said they are in a better financial position than last year.” Some 45.1 per cent expected mortgage loan interest rates to rise in the next quarter, down from 81.1 per cent in November.
BankWest head of broker sales Phil Colton said the potential for a slowdown in home buying was likely to affect all states, as the survey showed no major difference in expectations between states. “We are coming off an active time in the real estate mortgage market in Queensland and Western Australia and there is some expectation that this will slow, which is further supported by this latest research,” he said. Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed the number of real estate loans for owner-occupied housing inched up 0.1 per cent in May to 66,040. The result was 5.5 per cent higher than in May last year.