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Mortgage enquiries up 50 per cent

New Zealanders are increasingly confident about borrowing to buy homes and businesses, according to credit bureau Veda.

Almost 50% more people made mortgage inquiries this year, compared to 2011.

For the first time in five years, there has been an increase in commercial inquiries, which Veda managing director John Roberts said was positive for the economy.

"Business has hung in through a slow economic recovery. An increase in inquiries is a welcome sign of emerging stimulation in the commercial sector."

Commercial credit enquiries, relating to business lending, increased by nearly 7%  for the May-July 2012 quarter compared with the same period last year.

Home loan inquiries increased 44.36% for July 2012 compared to the same period last year.

Generation X (28-43 years age group) has shown the greatest shift with mortgage inquiries increasing 49.40% for July this year compared with July 2011.

Roberts said a highly competitive housing market in terms of consumer demand and access to stable interest rates had driven this increase to relatively low cost funds.

"With the Reserve Bank’s official cash rate remaining at 2.0% since March 2011 the banking industry has fiercely competed to attract new customers with very competitive interest rates - this is causing consumers to shop around to get the best home loan deal they can."

Roberts said a battle between banks in fixed home loan interest rates appears to be driving a slow shift from floating interest rates to fixed interest rates.

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