In a rare bit of good news for the mortgage industry, the number of happy customers has reached "near-historic highs," according to ING’s Wellbeing Index.
The quarterly survey found 48% of borrowers were making monthly repayments ahead of time. Only 5% of the population were found to be behind in mortgage repayments.
Meanwhile, the number of mortgage-free households is the highest since the survey began in 2010, at 28% nationally.
“Our research shows there is greater level of comfort with mortgage debt as increasingly homeowners are ahead with their repayments,” said Lisa Claes
, executive director delivery at ING
It also shows an increasing number of Australians ‘bunkering down’ and paying off debt before accumulating more, which in essence dries up new business for many mortgage brokers.
Direct’s head of corporate affairs, David Breen, told Australian Broker Online
the focus for brokers should now be on strengthening existing relationships, as well as diversifying.
“It’s important now for brokers to focus on existing customers, and building satisfaction levels and service. A broader approach to service is key too – how can you offer more to your customers?” he said
Breen admitted the outlook for the finance industry was not overly positive in terms of credit growth.
“We don’t expect the slow-down in credit growth to reverse anytime soon. It’s a big trend and will be affecting the market for some time. When growth was high, brokers could, to an extent, rely on simple income streams – but not anymore,” he said.