No-frills home loans more popular

Australian Finance Group, an aggregator that represents scores of mortgage brokers, has reported that in Western Australia its average mortgage is second in size only to those in New South Wales, and well ahead of Queensland and Victoria. The average AFG mortgage in March 2006 in NSW was $369,000; in WA it was $305,000; $278,000 for Queensland; $276,000 for Victoria and $211,000 for South Australia. AFG sold 7,747 mortgages nationwide in March 2006 worth an average $293,000. Almost 28 per cent were sold to investors. A year ago AFG was selling 6,608 mortgages per month, worth an average $256,000 and 24 per cent went to investors.

AFG said basic variable home loans, which omit some features but have lower fees and interest rates, increased from 17.9 per cent of new home loans sold in March 2005 to 24.2 per cent in March 2006, indicating an interest rate and price conscious market.

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