Loans to home-buyers have hit their highest level since September 2009. The ABS says there were 54,686 mortgage commitments in March, up 5.1% in annual terms. That included a 7.1% rise in loan approvals for established homes to 46,105 and a 3.4% increase in loan approvals to buy new homes to 2,777.

However, loan approvals to build new homes fell 7.4% to 5,804. The average mortgage for an owner-occupier grew 7.3% to $342,500, while the average mortgage for a first home buyer rose 7.8% to $326,300.

Overall, property buyers made $31.6 billion in housing finance commitments in March, up 15.6% on last year. The owner-occupied share rose 12.4% to $18.7 billion, while the investor share jumped 20.6% to $12.9 billion. Over the year, investors increased their share of loans from 39.1% to 40.8%.