Pete Wargent blogspot

Co-founder & CEO of AllenWargent property buyer's agents, offices in Brisbane (Riverside) & Sydney (Martin Place), and CEO of WargentAdvisory (providing subscription analysis, reports & services to institutional clients).

5 x finance/investment author - 'Get a Financial Grip: a simple plan for financial freedom’ (2012) rated Top 10 finance books by Money Magazine & Dymocks.

"Unfortunately so much commentary is self-serving or sensationalist. Pete Wargent shines through with his clear, sober & dispassionate analysis of the housing market, which is so valuable. Pete drills into the facts & unlocks the details that others gloss over in their rush to get a headline. On housing Pete is a must read, must follow - he is one of the finest property analysts in Australia" - Stephen Koukoulas, MD of Market Economics, former Senior Economics Adviser to Prime Minister Gillard.

"Pete is one of Australia's brightest financial minds - a must-follow for articulate, accurate & in-depth analysis." - David Scutt, Business Insider, leading Australian market analyst.

"I've been investing for over 40 years & read nearly every investment book ever written yet I still learned new concepts in his books. Pete Wargent is one of Australia's finest young financial commentators." - Michael Yardney, Australia's leading property expert, Amazon #1 best-selling author.

"The most knowledgeable person on Aussie real estate markets - Pete's work is great, loads of good data and charts, the most comprehensive analyst I follow in Australia. If you follow Australia, follow Pete Wargent" - Jonathan Tepper, Variant Perception, Global Macroeconomic Research, and author of the New York Times bestsellers 'End Game' and 'Code Red'.

"The level of detail in Pete's work is superlative across all of Australia's housing markets" - Grant Williams, co-founder RealVision - where world class experts share their thoughts on economics & finance - & author of Things That Make You Go of the world's most popular & widely-read financial publications.

"Wargent is a bald-faced realty foghorn" - David Llewellyn-Smith, MacroBusiness.

Monday, 23 October 2017

Negative skew

First-timers surge

It's been obvious that first homebuyers have been pouring back into the major housing markets since the beginning of July.

The housing finance figures, although to date only running to the end of August, confirm as much.

The September and October figures will warrant watching closely when they are finally reported. 

This is potentially only part of the story, though, with many parents now helping their offspring onto the housing ladder. 

Some parents may be cash buyers, while others may simply be financing purchases themselves. 

'Negative skewness'

It was pointed out on the Property Chat forum that although the median auction result in Sydney remained very high on Saturday at $1,295,000, the average or mean result was considerably lower at a shade under $1 million. 

Compare this with the same weekend last year when the mean value of properties sold at Sydney auctions was far higher at well above $1.3 million.

There's a similar trend afoot in Melbourne, albeit not nearly as pronounced.

What gives? 

When the mean is lower than the median - such as was the case in Sydney's auction results this weekend - this indicates a left-skewed distribution, or 'negative skew'.

In other words, a spread of lower value transactions, potentially also suggesting a shift towards the first homebuyer cohort.

Note, however, that there will be many more auctions in Sydney next weekend, so in turn next week should deliver a much better guide to the state of the market.

More than 1,000 Sydney homes are scheduled to go under the hammer on 'Super Saturday', making it the second biggest weekend of the year. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Gizza job!

How low can you go?

The New South Wales economy has added a stunning +123,800 full-time jobs over the past year.

And how low is the New South Wales unemployment rate now?

The answer is: very low at 4.6 per cent.

That's now equal to the lowest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in 9 years for the Premier State.

And the way things have been tracking, it may not be all that long before the unemployment rate across across the state approaches the lowest level on record, across decades of data.

In February 2008 the state's unemployment rate fleetingly plummeted to just 4.2 per cent, if only for a month.

Casting one's mind back, that was an extraordinary time in Sydney's labour market.

With the mining boom in full swing, there was such a shortage of skilled labour that it felt at times you could get paid a bonus just for turning up to work, so fearful were employers of losing qualified staff.

Certainly pay rises were expected for tenure, while employees could easily leave a job in the full expectation of sourcing another position comparatively easily.

We're not seeing conditions anything like that just yet.

However, the Jobs Vacancies figures for New South Wales recently soared to the highest level ever recorded for any state or territory, suggesting that there may be further gains on the horizon. 

New South Wales is...'Making it Happen'!

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Thursday, 19 October 2017

How'd you like them apples?

12 on the bounce

Goodness me, a thunderous +371,500 increase in Australian employment over the year to September 2017, for a massive increase of +3.1 per cent in the total number of employed to nearly 12.3 million. 

That makes it 12 months in a row for employment growth.

Meanwhile jobs vacancies have also increased to the highest level on record, meaning that there's likely to be at least some more good news in the post. 

Better still, the jobs boom has been driven by full-time jobs, with a cracking uplift of +316,000 over the year to September. 

The unemployment rate fell to 5.5 per cent, to sit at the lowest level in 4.5 years.

Female participation hit the highest level on record, while the total monthly number of hours worked was up by +3.4 per cent from a year earlier, the best annual result since those morose financial crisis days.

In trend terms, hours worked were a slightly more moderate +2.9 per cent higher. 

She'll be apples

Although things are looking a bit bleak in the Northern Territory, there has been positive news across most states. 

Although Victoria (+113,600) added the most jobs in absolute terms over the year, by far the fastest rate of annual employment growth is now held by Queensland at a thumping +4.1 per cent, following a prolonged dry spell. 

If this persists, it will likely result in a further rise in interstate migration to Queensland. 

New South Wales added another +21,100 jobs in September, and the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the state fell to a post-crisis low of just 4.6 per cent (and it's lower still in Sydney).

Plotting the figures in trend terms reveals a marked improvement for South Australia too. 

The wrap

Overall, there has been an massive increase in employment over the past year, especially full time employment. 

The good news is that it seems to have spread across the states. 

Household formation to surge


A valid point is raised here by fund manager roger: there's an awful lot of focus on population growth in Australian property market analysis, and not nearly enough on trends in household formation. 

The comment was posted in relation to another finely balanced article on roger's blog, entitled "PREPARE TO LOSE ENORMOUS [PROPERTY] WEALTH".

roger was prompted by one of the blog readers that had linked to a thing I wrote about accelerating population growth hoovering up the excess apartment supply in Melbourne. 

What can I say? Melbourne's riotous population growth has hoovered up the excess supply, and Victoria's population is now growing by ~150,000 per annum. 

In fact Melbourne is now diving headlong towards a rental crisis and increases in rents as the supply rolls over.

Formation rising

roger is quite right to note that household formation rather than population growth drives housing market demand.

The rate of household formation had been outpacing the rate of population growth in Australia for years, but echoing global post-financial trends this dynamic reversed during the last intercensal period from 2011 to 2016, partly due to under-building (at least initially), and partly driven by affordability challenges.

However, household formation is now expected to outpace population growth over the next two decades, according to research by BIS Oxford Economics, with the average household size resuming its downward trend. I'll take a look at the reasons why below. 

Let's not go over old ground, except to note in passing that roger's analysis of 18 months ago in May 2016 - partly derived from building approvals figures - concluded that Australia had an oversupply totalling in the hundreds of thousands of dwellings. 

The thing is, Australia will never have a massive oversupply of unsold new dwellings - projects simply don't get financed and built unless enough units are pre-sold.

It's true that the market anticipates demand incorrectly we can end up with an oversupply or mismatch of rentals temporarily, and sometimes in a downturn listings can rise sharply if owners dash for the exits.

But we haven't got hundreds of thousands of dwellings too many; not with the ramp up in headcount.

First homebuyer return

Since the introduction of new incentives, the number of dwellings financed by first homebuyers bolted to the highest level in 92 months in August 2017, so households are now being formed apace, especially in the two most populous states. 

There's much, much more to household formation than just this, though.

Recall I showed from the 2016 Census figures that Australia's migration programme has led to a demographic tsunami, being millions of 25 to 32 year-olds in Australia, about to swamp the housing markets, heavily focused on Sydney and Melbourne. 

Separate figures reporting the characteristics of recent migrants showed that it's overwhelmingly now the capital cities that are about to be swamped, because new migrants flock to the capital cities, and end up staying there. 

Many first-timers are electing to rent where they live, and are instead buying investment properties as their first step onto the ladder, so the real number of first-time buyers is tracking at close to the long run average. Plus there's the trend towards co-ownership, as recently reported

The 'bank of Mum & Dad'

Perhaps as significantly, there are the parents buying homes for their kids, which is new household formation not reported in the first homebuyer finance numbers. 

We are now seeing this going on practically all the time at auctions in Sydney and Brisbane - to be blunt, it pushes up prices - and evidently it's a big thing down in Melbourne and Geelong too. 

Cate Bakos of Cate Bakos Property in Melbourne notes that it's not only the first homebuyer sector that's being impacted by inherited money:

"Parents are impacting competition levels significantly. Firstly in the first homebuyer concession range - which is already screaming along with heightened borrowing capacity - and secondly the upgrader stakes. We are seeing and hearing of parents paying it forward with inheritance money."

Affordability has been a drag on household formation to some extent since the financial crisis.

However, this is projected to be more than offset by an ageing population - empty-nesters and downsizers - more divorces, more separations, widowhood, and a nascent yet growing trend towards lone-person households living in apartments. And that's before we mention all the empty dwellings.

Over the longer term, the ABS forecasts that the number of households will increase by well over 50 per cent to 12.7 million over the 25 years to 2036.

Boom & bust time

SQM Research's Louis Christopher has had a few minor skirmishes with fund manager roger in recent times, so it's intriguing - to me anyway - that SQM forecasts in its base case scenarios home prices rising in 2018 in all eight of the capital cities.

SQM has been Australia's most accurate forecasting house over recent years. 

SQM's base case scenario is upbeat about the prospects next year for Hobart (+8 to +13 per cent), Melbourne (+7 to +12 per cent), Sydney (+4 to +8 per cent), Adelaide (+0 to +4 per cent), Canberra (+5 to +9 per cent), and Brisbane (+3 to +7 per cent). 

And SQM also sees a positive turnaround for the resources capital city housing markets of Perth (+1 to +4 per cent) and Darwin (+1 to +4 per cent) in its base case. 

See here for more details of this year's Boom & Bust report. 

Touch too much

ASX catches a bid

"Sell everything!" came the cry.

"Get into cash and wait for better value!".

Unfortunately, the high priests of market timing might have had their holy garments pulled down a bit here. 

Wonder of wonders, the ASX has finally burst out of its tight trading range, having briefly traded above 5,900 in April and May. 

It's been stuck in a narrow band ever since. 

Until now...

Might it be time to dust of the 'XJO 6000' hats at last?

We dare to dream.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Investor beach ball submerged

Investor loans slowed

A nice pick-up in commercial lending to businesses in August 2017, which will hopefully flow through to business investment. 

Personal lending has dropped by a quarter since 2010 and is tracking at around the lowest level in 15 years. 

However, business lending is up +15 per cent from a year earlier, which is a positive for the economy. 

Lending for major renovations looks solid, but no more than that, while owner-occupier property lending is rising strongly in trend terms. 

The crackdown on investor lending has been marked. 

Mortgage Choice reported that interest-only loans accounted for only 14.64 per cent of loans written in September, down from 35.95 per cent in April. 

Thus the repricing of interest-only loans has been swift and effective. 

Interestingly, the slowdown in investor lending appears to have most impacted the states where investor lending was already moderate. 

The one state that does not appear to have been slowed too much is Victoria. 

As for the Top End, investor lending in Darwin is now well and truly dormant.

The heady mining boom years, but a distant memory in the Northern Territory!

The wrap

A solid result, then, for business lending. 

Although property investment loans have been slowed significantly, it may be too early to write off investors completely.

International experiences from countries such as New Zealand and the UK have shown that while macroprudential measures are effective in the short term, over time lenders and investors may find new ways to get business done. 

It's a bit like trying to hold a beach ball under water, sometimes. 

The one genuine fix would be higher interest rates. 

Arrears fall again

Home loan arrears improve

Mortgage arrears fell further, down to just 1.10 per cent in August, according to S&P.

In New South Wales, delinquencies fell to just 0.79 per cent. 

In fact, there were solid results in every state and territory in the month, reflecting improved labour market conditions.

More detail from Scutty at Business Insider here

Tuesday, 17 October 2017


Rental price growth to stabilise

One of several contributors to weak inflation in Australia in recent times has been the soft growth in rents, driven by a combination of record apartment building, a surfeit of rental accommodation in some pockets, and fading demand in the resources capitals.

However, the latest vacancy rate release from SQM Research suggests that the peak of the disinflationary impact may now have passed.

In other words, rental price growth has probably stabilised nationally. 

In fact, SQM now records very strong growth in asking rents for houses in Hobart and Canberra - there are very, very few homes advertised for rent in Hobart, where the vacancy rate is just 0.4 per cent - while Adelaide's rental market appears to have been steadily tightening. 

Adelaide's vacancy rate of 1.6 per cent in September was well down from 2 per cent a year earlier. 

While vacancy rates are still elevated in the resources capitals, it looks as though Perth and Darwin landlords might be through the worst now, at least as measured by vacancy rates. 

September's vacancy rates in Sydney (2.1 per cent) and Melbourne (1.9 per cent) suggested markets close to relative equilibrium, reflected in moderately rising asking rents year-on-year in those cities, both for houses and apartments. 

Passive smoking

Roll up, roll up!

Fair cop, we've all enjoyed hating on Australia's share markets at various points over the past decade, while the rest of the world has apparently been partying. 

In Britain, the FTSE index recently crunched out another record high, while in the US a raft of share market indices have been shattering records seemingly by the day. 

In Australia, by contrast, share market indices have remained well below their previous highs. 

That's partly been because valuations in the resources sector have been hurting since the heady pre-financial crisis peak. 

The truth is, though, on average Australian companies pay out much higher dividends than in other parts of the world.

We do love a payout, which is handy for those moving into the income phase of their investing lives. 

Add in the dividend component and Australia's main accumulation indices - which record the total returns from shares including dividends - are at all-time highs. 

That's pretty good news for Australia, since as a nation we have significant exposure to domestic shares. 

Indeed, household wealth is all set to pass $10 trillion within the next few months, placing Australian households among the richest in the world, nestling in just behind the Swiss. 

Monday, 16 October 2017

The changing face of immigration

Immigration shifts

Annual long-term arrivals into Australia hit a record +777,430 in August 2017, +6.5 per cent higher than a year earlier, although the recent record surge does appear to be running out of steam.

This trend does have significant implications for the absorption of all those new apartments in the capital cities. 

The number of short-term arrivals from overseas also boomed to a record in August 2017, both on a monthly basis at 764,700 (seasonally adjusted) and in annual terms at 8.7 million. 

With more Aussies making overseas trips too, it's becoming harder and harder to get a read on who is actually in the country at any given point in time, for what reason, and for how long. 

The world is becoming more and more fluid in this respect. 

Good time...& a long time?

More of the 'short-term' arrivals are coming for longer trips too, another trend which distorts the picture. 

Of the annual short-term arrivals, more than 1 million of them intended to stay for at least 3 months, and many for up to a year. 

Notably the annual number of short-term education arrivals boomed to 567,000 to be +12 per cent higher than a year earlier.

One assumes that most of these would spend a good deal of time here, thus passing the 12/16 rule and being included in net overseas migration, but it's impossible to say for sure. 

All we can say for certain is that there are more international students enrolling and commencing courses than ever before, especially from Asia, and particularly in Melbourne and Sydney.

And as for where short-term visitors are coming from, the growth has largely been coming from China, which broke yet another record in August in seasonally adjusted terms. 

There were more than 1.6 million short-term arrivals from China and Hong Kong over the year to August, comfortably more than anywhere else, and the numbers just keep on growing. 

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Spirit in the sky?

Commencements slowing

It had become quite apparent by late 2014 that there was something extraordinary underway with regards to new 'high-rise' apartment construction in Australia. 

Outside Sydney, we're now coming down the other side of that mountain. Over the past 18 months, the trend in the number of new apartment starts in Queensland has continued to fall, and fall, and fall.

In inner city Brisbane, new project commencements have slowed to a crawl. This is one of several ways in which that the apartment market in inner Brisbane is adjusting, as it needs to.

Adjustment time

It's not like the supply of apartments is anything new - we've been talking about it for three years now.

In its latest Financial Stability Review (FSR) the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) projects a flood of new completions in Brisbane in FY2018, especially in the city precinct.

Despite this, the RBA reported "few signs of significant settlement difficulties", which is generally a positive market indicator. Meanwhile the RBA noted that the "moderate" rate of price decline for apartments is now "slowing".

It's become much harder to source finance to buy off the plan in Brisbane, which is naturally cooling the market. Approvals have dropped dramatically, numerous Queensland developers have gone to the wall, and more are expected to follow in the coming months.

Quality street

Interestingly, the RBA noted that lower-quality apartments marketed to investors have struggled to value up, while higher-quality apartments targeted mainly at owner-occupiers have realised at or above their purchase price.

A salutary lesson in property investment right there...from your own Central Bank, no less! Many of those caught out in the new high-rise developments will likely be interstate and foreign investors, largely hailing from mainland China. 

While there is a lot of stock still due to hit the market - particularly in the CBD - construction activity on the ground has clearly slowed, and the actual number of completions in FY2018 will surely end up being materially lower than the RBA's forecasts.

You can see this for yourself, by the way, simply by taking a walk around the inner city: there are any number of stalled, delayed, or mothballed projects in suburbs such as Woolloongabba, West End, South Brisbane, Newstead, and so on. I note here that some of my fellow inner-city-dwelling latte-sippers have observed the very same thing:

RBA liaison with industry participants and banks expressed confidence that new supply will be well absorbed by the market (as you'd expect), but there will be continued downward pressure on rents. That may be tough if you're the landlord, but not necessarily a bad thing overall, and the renters are moving in.

By the second quarter of calendar year 2017 the number of attached dwellings under construction in the Sunshine State had already dived by 15 per cent from the 2015 peak, though there was still plenty in the pipeline.

This suggests that by the end of 2017, the number of apartments under construction will have fallen quite a large part of the way back towards their likely 'new normal', given that proportionately many more attached dwellings will be built in the future, as compared to the past.

Migration north (garbage in...)

The other thing that's helping to drag the market back into balance, is net interstate migration, mainly from New South Wales. The official ABS estimates had interstate migration heading into Queensland back up to around +15,700 by the end of March, from about +5,600 at the cyclical nadir.

Analysts will torture and torture these numbers until they confess, no doubt, but it can't be stressed enough that the numbers aren't actually real, however much emphasis is put on citing individual figures.

The data lags massively for one thing. Moreover it's derived from change of usual residence statistics via Medicare records (and let's face it, who updates these on a timely basis, hmm?).

The ABS thus discloses that the interstate migration figures are among the poorest or least reliable of the available population measures. Anyway, the net interstate migration estimates are impacted by seasonality, and so are presented here on a rolling annual basis. 

These figures are only a guide, then, but just from hanging out in the inner city it's become clear that there has been a surge in interest in relocating to Brisbane since 2015. 

It wouldn't be a great surprise if in 2018 the interstate migration figures are much higher than this - previous cycles have shown that when this cyclical migration trend gets underway, it can ramp up very quickly.

Driven as much by net overseas migration, annual statewide population growth had already picked up to an estimated +75,400 in the first quarter of 2017, about +28 per cent higher than in September 2015.

The March quarter figure of +23,869 for the preliminary estimated resident population of Queensland was up by more than +26 per cent from a year earlier. If this proves to be anywhere near correct it is something akin to a population boom. 

Even those most recent figures relate to the period from January to March 2017, which was the best part of a year ago now, but any way you look at it, the supply story is now likely to be one of rebalancing.

Annual employment growth in the state has been seriously, woefully patchy since the peak of resources construction, but in August 2017 it bolted to around a decade-high of +95,400, albeit largely driven by part-time employment.

Unusually, Queensland finds itself joint-top of the employment growth tree alongside Victoria, at least for now, so that's another important trend to watch. 

The wrap

Overall, it's easy to construct a doomsday or calamity scenario by adding up every apartment project and dwelling unit ever approved in Greater Brisbane and comparing this to historic demand for attached dwellings. 

But if you instead look at what's actually going to complete over the next few financial years, and compare this to the future demand for inner city living in Brisbane, you'll come up with a far less dramatic picture.

So far, we've seen declining asking rents, and some fairly marginal declines in asking prices for apartments. Interestingly the rental pain appears likely to be shared by dated rental stock across Brisbane.

The soft rental markets are not only restricted to inner Brisbane apartments, as young bargain-hunting renters take up the new inner city living option, spurred by new projects such as Howard Smith Wharves and the massive $3 billion Queen's Wharf Project. 

In the meantime, I'll definitely be on the lookout for apartment and townhouse bargains in New Farm in 2018, where lowball offers should certainly be the order of the day.

All of which reminds me, I must get on to those Medicare records to update my address...

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Smash your goals with the 40% rule

Marathon, not a sprint

I mentioned in one of my books that about a decade ago my wife and I decided to give up on socialising for six months to train for the Sydney Marathon.

The idea was to save some money for a deposit on a Sydney flat, and to push ourselves physically to get fitter and healthier. 

We gave up boozing and late Friday nights out for half a year, and began running around Centennial Park on weekend mornings instead. 

If you've ever run the Sydney Marathon you'll know that the first and last part of the course are great.

Early on, there's the uplifting crossing of the infamous Sydney Harbour Bridge to keep you motivated, and then the cheering crowds as you fairly skip down Oxford Street (including the random heckling from the 'excitable' Kings Cross nightclub stragglers...ha!). 

The course gets horribly hard, though, particularly in the second half, where there's a nasty incline as the course swings disconcertingly away from the city finish line and up the ugly tarmac of the City-West Link. 

There are no friends in the crowd on that part of the course - and there's no Sydney Opera House to spur you on - just a dreadful stretch of upwards-sloping highway. 

Digging deep

It was just before the halfway mark that my wife exclaimed in anguish that she wouldn't make it to the finish due to the excruciating pain in her knees, as we did the loop around the familiar Centennial Park.

Heather is a tough cookie - a much tougher nut than me, certainly, if that means anything - and she doesn't complain about pain easily. 

In fact, she later had to have an operation on her ailing knees, as all the training and the full 26-mile course itself took their combined toll.

It was an unseasonably hot September day when we ran the marathon in Sydney, bright, cloudless, and about 27 degrees at the peak of the morning sun, and yet most people finished, and eventually we trotted across the line with great relief in a semi-respectable time. 

After looking like a distant possibility at just before the halfway mark, from somewhere we dug deep and made it all the way to the finish line. 

Mental toughness

We all know that there are reams and reams of BS on the internet.

But occasionally - just occasionally - you can stumble across a little gem that makes all the misspent hours worthwhile.

Last week I read about the 40% rule - thanks to London developer Nicole Bremner for the link - a concept that has since intrigued me.

When you think your energies are exhausted, it may be that you are only 40 per cent of the way through your untapped reserves of energy.

The 40% rule

A chap called Jesse Itzler wrote about this idea in his book Living with a SEAL

You can debate the science behind the rule - which essentially holds that when you think you are mentally and physically cooked, you are probably only about 40 per cent done - but as a motivational tool, it could be surprisingly powerful.

If I was having a glass-half-empty type of day, I'd lament that this could mean that the war of televisual attrition with my 3-year old daughter might not even be half finished yet. Help! If I've only watched Disney's Frozen 40 per cent of the total number of times I'll see it, please end me now!

Yet, what about the positives? Anyone that's worked in a stressful career job or in a small business must have uttered the fateful words at some point: "I've had enough! I just can't take this crap any more!"

But perhaps you can? Maybe you are more resilient than you think, and you aren't even half way done?

Just as importantly, we can see that most people give up on their goals far too easily, so maybe there's a hidden opportunity here too.

When obstacles fall in your path or the going gets tough, you should know that you absolutely can keep going, safe in the knowledge that most people will give up sooner than you because it all gets too hard.

By resolving to remember the simple 40% rule, you might just become a winner.

AFG sees first homebuyer return

Return of the first homebuyer

AFG released its mortgage index for the September 2017, and it too showed a switch towards first homebuyers. 

First homebuyer activity has been buoyed by stamp duty concessions in New South Wales and Victoria. 

The average mortgage size rose to an all-time high of $491,952, up from $479,101 a year earlier.

However, regulatory intervention has slowed the pace of the increase. 

The increase in mortgage size was driven by Victoria, Queensland, and South Australia.

Elsewhere, macroprudential measures have evidently slowed the mortgage market.

The figures for total lodgement volumes at the state level are necessarily seasonal, but simply underscore the sheer strength of the lending growth in Victoria. 

Victoria appears to be the only state where cooling measures have not had a material impact. 

There has been a massive shift away from investors, down to just a 29 per cent market share, from above 40 per cent at the peak.

The other notable trend was the shift away from the major market lenders.

Market share was down to 64.4 per cent for the main players, the lowest such result since the global financial crisis.