Australia’s largest mortgage broker, AFG, has seen a surge in demand for home loans since the start of 2015. AFG general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt said: “February is the real start to the mortgage year and overall we’re off to a flying start this year.”

The company’s mortgage volumes increased around the country in February, up 16% nationally year-on-year and 58% from January. The increase was particularly marked in South Australia, where they were up 31% compared with the same month in 2014, with other strong performances in New South Wales (up 25%), Victoria (up 21%) and Queensland (up 15%).

“No doubt the February rate cut has made borrowers more confident,” added Hewitt, “but it’s important to recognise the significant variations from one state to another.”

It was less good news in Western Australia, for example, where AFG processed 4% fewer mortgages year-on-year last month.

South Australia’s strong growth in mortgage applications follows a pick-up in the state’s property market in the December quarter of 2014. Analysis then by the Real Estate Institute of South Australia showed the median house price in Adelaide hit AU$425,000, while the state median price was AU$390,000.