The deep freeze put on the housing market by the lockdown is shown clearly in the latest Reserve Bank residential mortgage lending by borrower type figures.
After a boom March month, in which mortgage money advanced hit its highest level for a March since 2016, everything ground to a near-halt in April.
Total monthly new mortgage commitments were $2.7 billion in April, which was a decrease of some $3.4 billion, or 55.5%, compared with March 2020.
Compared with April 2019 the figures for last month were down by 49.6%.
In Auckland, new mortgage commitments in April 2020 fell 42.6% compared with a year ago, while new commitments outside of Auckland fell 54.8%.
New mortgage commitments to first home buyers decreased from $1.1 billion in March to $0.5 billion in April.
First home buyers accounted for 17.6% of new mortgage commitments, down from 18.4% in March.
Compared with April 2019 figures for first home buyers were down 49.8%.
Investors accounted for 20.4% of new mortgage commitments in April, down from 21.3% in March.
The latest figures outlining how much of the banks' money was advanced in high LVR loans were also released on Wednesday and are worth noting for future reference.
That's because the Reserve Bank removed mortgage loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions effective from May 1. The LVRs have been removed for at least the next 12 months.
So, the figures for April provide the last full month of life under the LVR regime.
And the figures show that the banks have continued to lend very much under what their limits have been.
In April, 11.6% of new mortgage commitments without investment property collateral had an LVR share of over 80% after exemptions, compared with the speed limit of 20%. For investors, 0.3% of new commitments had an LVR of over 70% after exemptions, compared with the speed limit of 5%.
The figures for May will therefore be most interesting as the housing market tries to restart again.