Australian homebuyers swing to mortgage brokers

A rising proportion of Australian potential homebuyers are likely to use a mortgage broker to assist them, primarily because of the service brokers provide.

This was one of the findings in the Australia-wide 2005 MIAA/BankWest Home Finance Survey.

Banks remain the prime choice for a home loan, but since last year’s survey brokers have leap-frogged credit unions into second place as the next most likely source of a loan.

Chief executive officer of the MIAA Phil Naylor said that while the surveys were not strictly comparable to quantify the increase, there was a marked increase in the likelihood of people using brokers.

“This year we saw a noticeable increase in people’s intentions to use a broker, while attitudes toward other sources of home loans did not change greatly from last year’s survey,” Naylor said.

In the latest survey 76% of the respondents said they would consider banks if they were in the market for a loan, 56% would consider a broker, 54% a building society, 49% credit unions and 47% non-bank specialists.

BankWest Head of Retail Sales, Mark Reid said the increasing public awareness of the benefits of brokers was no surprise for BankWest, which has had a close relationship with mortgage brokers for many years.

“BankWest has always supported the broker channel because we see it as an alternative path for customers to come to us,” said Reid. “Brokers provide an important service for those customers who are looking for a better deal and don’t have time to shop around for themselves. They help take away some of the legwork for those customers.”

The survey showed 72% of all questioned believed a broker would save them time in deciding on a house loan. A similar number (69%) felt brokers provide a valuable service when arranging a mortgage.

Other benefits: 56% believed that using a broker would help them get the best interest rate. The majority of people also agreed that using a broker would increase the chances of having a mortgage application approved, guarantee they get a suitable mortgage, and limit the amount of paperwork.
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