Broker expansion yields watershed for Oxygen

by Adam Smith12 Apr 2012

Oxygen Home Loans has hit a record for monthly lodgments in March as its brokers expand across McGrath Estate Agents’ sales network.

The broker, a fully-owned subsidiary of McGrath, has reached $135m in lodgments for March. The company’s previous record was $96.5m in August 2011.

Oxygen general manager James Green said the result was driven by a 113% year-on-year increase in new mortgage enquiries for February, and an 85% year-on-year increase for March.

“The big growth area for Oxygen has been from up-graders. Correspondingly we have seen an increase in the average loan amount to over $630,000, the highest monthly figure recorded ,” Green said.

McGrath chief operations officer Geoff Lucas said an increase in Oxygen’s scale helped fuel the uplift in enquiries. The broker now services 44 offices for the real estate agent in NSW, ACT and South East Queensland. A McGrath spokesperson said the company currently had 24 brokers.

“This figure will naturally increase as McGrath network expands into new regions,” she said.

Oxygen last year averaged $58m in lodgments per month, ending 2011 with lodgements totalling $691m. The company claimed its March result painted a better picture for 2012.

“A large proportion of the applicants are buyers of McGrath properties reflecting the success of offering a streamlined one stop shop for property transactions,” Green said.

Green said more than 90% of the company’s lodgments were approved in principal. In addition to the expansion of the company’s broker force, Green claimed the result was indicative of an environment in which lenders were hungry for business.

“The introduction of the National Consumer Protection Act made it much harder for customers to access low doc loans, and banks are taking a more prudent approach to lending; however, they clearly have an appetite to lend in situations where the buyer can provide sufficient equity and documentation to demonstrate their capacity to service the loan,” Green said.

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