This comes as Aussies look to beat an uptick in property price rises despite rising interest rates in a bid to potentially avoid missing the boat. 

ABS lending data revealed off the five-year lows to first home buyer loan commitments in February, March recorded a 15.3% increase in the number of first home buyers opting into the market. 

Despite this rise, ABS Head of Finance Statistics Mish Tan noted the number of these commitments in March was 22% lower compared to a year ago.

“During the second half of 2020, first home buyer lending reflected the strength in demand for housing during the pandemic, with new commitments peaking in January 2021 and declining by half since then,” Dr Tan said.

More broadly, the ABS detailed the overall value of new loan commitments for housing rose 4.9% to $24.0 billion in March 2023. 

AMP Chief Economist Shane Oliver said the results are consistent with other indicators showing an improvement in the property market. 

“[This] will be interesting to see how the latest RBA hike impacts housing, especially with RBA noting rising house prices as a factor in Tuesday’s hike,” Dr Oliver said. 

The ABS revealed the value of new home loan commitments by first home buyers also increased significantly off the back of February results, climbing back to levels on par with that of December 2022.

Refinancing remains key priority for owner occupiers and investors

Aussies are looking to avoid being stung by further increases to the cash rate and take advantage of competitive cashback offers, continuing to refinance in droves. 

This comes as to the March quarter, the ABS Living Cost Index detailed mortgage interest charges rose 78.9% over the year, significantly hampering the budgets of employed Australians. 

In March, the ABS revealed the value of new external owner-occupier housing loan refinances rose 3.9% to another record high of $14.2 billion, off the back of $13.6 billion recorded in February. 

Investor external refinancing also reached record highs, climbing 12.3% to more than $7 billion in March.


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Update resultsUpdate
LenderHome LoanInterest Rate Comparison Rate* Monthly Repayment Repayment type Rate Type Offset Redraw Ongoing Fees Upfront Fees LVR Lump Sum Repayment Additional Repayments Split Loan Option TagsFeaturesLinkCompare
6.04% p.a.
6.06% p.a.
$2,408
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$530
90%
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5.99% p.a.
5.90% p.a.
$2,396
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$0
80%
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6.14% p.a.
6.16% p.a.
$2,434
Principal & Interest
Variable
$0
$250
60%
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Important Information and Comparison Rate Warning

Base criteria of: a $400,000 loan amount, variable, fixed, principal and interest (P&I) home loans with an LVR (loan-to-value) ratio of at least 80%. However, the ‘Compare Home Loans’ table allows for calculations to be made on variables as selected and input by the user. Some products will be marked as promoted, featured or sponsored and may appear prominently in the tables regardless of their attributes. All products will list the LVR with the product and rate which are clearly published on the product provider’s website. Monthly repayments, once the base criteria are altered by the user, will be based on the selected products’ advertised rates and determined by the loan amount, repayment type, loan term and LVR as input by the user/you. *The Comparison rate is based on a $150,000 loan over 25 years. Warning: this comparison rate is true only for this example and may not include all fees and charges. Different terms, fees or other loan amounts might result in a different comparison rate. Rates correct as of . View disclaimer.

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