Despite a fall in activity, loan approvals for first home buyers in February reached levels not seen in a decade, according to Archistar.

Latest ABS data reveals that national lending seasonally adjusted for first home buyers fell by 3.3% over February – the first monthly decline since May 2020 at the height of the autumn coronavirus shutdown.

Dr Andrew Wilson, the property development feasibility software’s Chief Economist, says there is a clear spike in loan approvals for first home buyers compared to the year previous.

"Despite the monthly fall, 16,167 first home buyer loans were approved over the month, the second highest result since June 2009. Lending to first home buyers has surged by 68.3% over the first two months of this year compared to the same period last year.

"The February decline in first home buyer lending, largely reflected a sharp fall in Victoria where activity was down by 5.2% with all other states reporting monthly increases. Victoria however remained the top performer for first home buyer loans with 4,142 approved over the month, followed by Queensland 3,078, NSW 2,747, WA 2,362 and SA 972.

Wilson describes the property market’s outlook as ‘problematic’, due to a range of causes.

"First home buyer activity remains at the highest levels since the record-breaking period in 2009 courtesy of low interest rates, a reviving economy and various government stimulus policies directed to the group.

"With home prices now rising sharply in booming housing markets and government policy initiatives expired or diminishing, the likelihood of continuing strong first home buyer activity is quickly declining."

NSW remains the most expensive state for first home buyers with an average loan over February of $497,925. It is then followed by Victoria with $442,805, Queensland with $379,597, WA with $372,947 and SA with $335,802.