Average home loan doubles in 11 years

The average new home loan has more than doubled since 1991, says the Reserve Bank, although the rates of home ownership have stayed virtually unchanged.

Eleven years ago the average new mortgage was $74,000; now it's $150,000. Borrowing for owner/occupiers has risen at an annual rate of 14.9 per cent, while over the same period, borrowing by buyers of investment properties has increased by about 22 per cent per year. Investors now make up 26 per cent of the home loans market, compared with 9 per cent in 1990.

At the end of June 2002, a record $338 billion was owed on housing loans, almost twice the total in 1996. Home loan repayments make up 84 per cent of total household expenses.

In 2001, 43 per cent of home owners owned their houses outright and 28.6 per cent were paying off their homes. This represents a national home ownership rate of 71.6 per cent, similar to the early 1990s, but down from the 1981 figure of 73.2 per cent.