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The average value of a new mortgage in Australia has risen to its highest ever level as property investors return to the market, the country’s biggest mortgage broker says.

The average new mortgage lodged in Australia rose to $354,137 in July, eclipsing the previous record of $353,223 in October 2008, according to data from mortgage broker AFG released on Sunday.

“As every week goes by we’re seeing growing signs of confidence in the property market,” AFG general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt said in a statement.

“Recent reports of house price increases are stimulating the market as a whole, and encouraging investors in particular.”

The data showed that 30 per cent of all mortgages were arranged for investors, rising from a low of 24.5 per cent in March, whereas new home buyers made up 19 per cent of the mortgage market in July, a proportion which has fallen from 28 per cent in March.

The average mortgage value was highest in NSW, at $407,226, with the lowest in South Australia, at $270,179.

The data also showed that the proportion of fixed rate mortgages fell to five per cent from 8.3 per cent in June.

The banks have also continued to increase their dominance in home loans, with mortgages from banks making up 92.5 per cent of the market, compared with 80 per cent in the third quarter of 2007.