major lender hopes cutting fees on its home loans will jumpstart activity after a slow 2012.
has told Australian Broke
r it will cut application fees to zero on its home loans for February. The move applies to the $375 application fee for new loans and the $175 application fee for credit increases. The bank's general manager of third party lending, Damian Percy, told Australian Broker the move could provide brokers with some traction in a slow market.
"We saw the RBA
figures come out showing that 2012 was probably the lowest credit growth in some decades, and December was the lowest month. Those are some fairly depressing figures. Our idea was to do an application fee-
free February. That's our contribution to get things kicking along," Percy said.
"Overall, we're just trying to give brokers something to talk about. We all want a more exciting and vibrant 2013, and we're hopeful that this can spark a little bit of excitement early," he added.
Percy expressed hope that the market could see a better year in 2013 than in 2012, but said caution still abounded among homebuyers.
"I don't think homebuyers are scared, or necessarily even tentative, but the notion of purchasing with the intention of obtaining the kinds of capital gains we may have seen in the past isn't something we're going to see in the future. On the upside, it makes housing more affordable for people," he said.
Despite the withdrawal of stamp duty concessions in some states, Percy predicted that first homebuyers would trickle back into the market.
"First homebuyers disappeared for awhile as a result of the grants being removed. Though grants do bring activity forward, eventually demand builds up and first homebuyers buy. The good thing is that housing is going to remain relatively affordable and interest rates look set to remain low," he said.