SYDNEY, AAP – Investors seizing on low rates have driven the value of new home loans to a record high of $32.6 billion in May.

Investors stepped up their property search and took on 13.3 per cent more in loans in May to $9.1 billion, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

This loan activity was concentrated in NSW and Victoria.

By contrast, owner-occupiers borrowed 1.9 per cent more for the month to $23.4 billion.

Canstar group executive, financial service, Steve Mickenbecker said investors’ rush to buy would make life harder for first home buyers.

“First home buyers don’t have investors’ borrowing track record and rightly lack the confidence to sign unconditional contracts,” he said.

Low interest rates during the pandemic and government programs such as HomeBuilder have helped property buyers.