By David Hargreaves
First home buyers are returning to the housing market in force, according to the latest lending by borrower type figures from the Reserve Bank.
The figures show that in November first home buyers borrowed $897 million to get houses, with the amount they collectively borrowed making up 14.1% of the $6.349 billion advanced by lenders during the month.
It's easily the biggest monthly tally borrowed by FHBs since the RBNZ began reporting these figures in August 2014.
The previous highest amount borrowed by the first-timers in a month was the $833 million figure in May of this year - but that made up just 11.4% of the massive $7.287 billion that was advanced in total that month.
The first home buyers appear to be picking up the slack in the market being left by investors after the introduction of the RBNZ's new 40% deposit rule for investors in October.
The question remains how long the new LVR rules will continue to have an impact on investors for though.
Already in November there was some sign of a bit of a bounce-back with the $1.737 borrowed by investors making up 27.4% of the total borrowed, up from the low-point seen in October of just under 27% (with this figure having been revised down slightly by the RBNZ from the original figure released a month ago).
Going back to June before the new LVR rules were announced, investors grabbed 38% of the mortgage money going that month.
Separately, the Reserve Bank's figures detailing Auckland LVR figures show that in the country's largest city the share of mortgages going to investors dipped below 39% in November, from just under 40% in October and having been up as high as nearly 48% in June.
Auckland of course already had differential rules for investors previously, with the RBNZ having put a 30% deposit rule on for Auckland investors in October 2015.
This rule was replaced by the nationwide 40% investor deposit rule.
The latest figures for interest-only lending show that the proportion of new lending that's on interest-only terms has shrunk slightly again in November, to 35.2% from 35.4% in October.
Prior to the July announcement of the new investor LVR rules, the proportion of new lending being done on interest-only terms was over 40% of total lending.
However, the proportion of interest-only borrowed by investors had a slight uptick in November, rising to 41.9% from 40.2% in October - though as of June this proportion had been as high as 52.5%.