MORTGAGE sales soared to $2.7 billion in August, their highest level for 18 months, according to the country's biggest mortgage broker, AFG.
AFG reported that more than 38 per cent of all mortgages sold in August were for refinancing, as property owners took advantage of a highly competitive lending environment, The Australian reports.
Out of the total of 7198 home loans sold in August, 38.2 per cent were in refinancing, 36.5 per cent were sold to property investors and 13.8 per cent were sold to first-home buyers.
There was a sharp increase in the number of fixed-rate home loans as lenders heavily discounted their rates.
About 9.4 per cent of all loans were fixed home loans, up from 7.9 per cent in July.
"Borrower expectations about interest rates shifted significantly during August," AFG's Mark Hewitt said.
"We're seeing a lot of refinancing, as borrowers take advantage of discounted products."
Property investment was the strongest sector in the market.
NSW led the nation, with 40.8 per cent of new home loans sold for investment purposes, AFG said.