Mortgage applications up 38% in March from last year, Veda Advantage says (update 1)

Mortgage applications up 38% in March from last year, Veda Advantage says (update 1)
Baby Boomers showed a disproportionate increase of interest in the housing market in March, credit information provider Veda Advantage said. Total mortgage applications were up 38% from March last year, with the 44-62 year old population bracket showing a 45% increase in mortgage applications in March 2009. (Update 1 to include BNZ comments.) 'Generation X' (28-43 years old) increased mortgage applications by 34% from March last year, while 'Generation Y' (under 28) made a 16% increase in applications from a year ago, Veda said. Total mortgage applications rose by 29% in March from February, Veda, which supplies credit reference checks for New Zealand's major banks and lenders, said. Mortgage applications in March were the highest monthly total since November 2007 "Today we are experiencing a level of activity in mortgage applications that we have not seen since house prices began falling in late 2007," Managing Director John Roberts said. "This activity reflects the lower interest rates stimulating demand, and shows the market going to fixed terms to lock in these rates," Roberts said. "The much larger increase in the number of baby boomers applying for mortgages, compared to younger age groups, suggests that they are more cashed up and in a better position to snap up perceived bargains in the housing market. The fact that applications from Generation Y have increased only marginally over March 2008, may be a result of the tighter rules by lenders regarding minimum deposits," he said. Veda advantage handles all mortgage applications in New Zealand but does not have data on how many applications are rejected. Veda supplies credit information to the banks and lenders, who in turn make the decision whether to accept or decline a mortgage application. We are asking the banks if it is possible to get information on how many mortgage applications they turned down in March. A BNZ spokesman said that information on how many home loan applications the bank had turned down over March was confidential. The spokesman also said that BNZ "will, as a matter of course also run a (credit) check where a customer is wanting to borrow more on their home loan."

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