In a boon for brokers, mortgage sales soared 40 per cent in January 2012 in comparison to the same time last year.
According to the latest AFG Mortgage Index, sales in Queensland were up 80.6 per cent, 84.5 per cent in South Australia, 37.4 per cent in Western Australia, 25 per cent in Victoria and 14.5 per cent in NSW.
January also saw WA take over from NSW as the most popular state for first home buyers.
Almost one in five new mortgages in WA was arranged for first home buyers compared to 14 per cent in NSW.
Through the second half of last year, NSW led the country as the most active first home buyers market.
However NSW retains its position as the most popular state for investment, with 40.2 per cent of loans there arranged for investment purposes, compared to 36.8 per cent in Victoria, 34.9 per cent in Queensland, 32.6 per cent in Western Australia and 32.0 per cent in South Australia.
"While markets across the country have recovered from last year's natural disasters, right now we have a strong sense that borrowers are playing wait and see on rates. Will the RBA cut rates, and if so, how much of this will be passed on by lenders? It seems that we are moving to a new paradigm where there is less and less linkage between the cash rate and mortgage rates. An RBA cash rate cut will not automatically translate into improved consumer confidence," AFG's general manager of sales and operations Mark Hewitt said.