Mortgage broker numbers are set to fall as consumer credit appetite settles into a "new normal".
The J.P. Morgan/Fujitsu Australian Mortgage Industry Report has pointed to a "fundamental shift" in risk appetite among borrowers, lenders and regulators. The report predicted that single-digit credit growth is likely to be the future of the Australian economy.
Fujitsu Australia and New Zealand executive director Martin North predicted that broker numbers would contract further in a "lower growth, higher risk environment".
"I do not expect to see a return to the buoyant times of the mid 2000s in the years ahead. This will flow on to lower tax takes and a likely fall in the number of mortgage brokers," North said.
The report claimed that consumer tolerance for debt "reduced substantially" from 2007, with the proportion of new households taking on debt more than halving to 3.3% per annum. North warned that government intervention to stimulate housing demand would be a mistake, and urged policymakers, industry participants and lenders to accept a future of low credit growth.
"In this lower growth environment, there is the risk that policy makers start to think about new incentives to kick-start the housing sector, but this would be a potentially costly mistake as it fails to appreciate the true impact of the new normal. Previous attempts to stimulate the market did little long-term good, and merely lifted house prices to their current high levels," North said.