Mortgage lending at lowest level since 2000

Owner-occupier mortgage lending reached a ten-year low in 2010 in the wake of rising affordability problems in the housing market.

A new report by Datamonitor, which was obtained by International Business Times (IBT), shows that only 575,000 new home loans for owner-occupation were taken out in Australia last year – the lowest figure since 2000.

As IBT observed, the result reflects a sharp drop on the 777,000 new mortgages taken out in 2007.

"Record low housing affordability driven by higher property prices and recently raised interest rates will continue to affect the market," said Petter Ingemarsson, senior analyst at Datamonitor and author of the report.

"Gradually worsening affordability has priced some prospective buyers out of the market, with younger buyers and first time buyers the most affected."

Aussies struggling to break into the property market could choose to compare home loans in search of the best options. The news comes after NAB this week warned that the federal government's proposed measures to increase banking competition could lead to customers being hit with higher fees.

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