A tough year for mortgage growth could see lenders ramping up their plays for market share, it has been claimed.
RateCity has predicted slower mortgage growth for 2013, and said lenders could respond by increasing their competitive offerings.
"The home loan market has taken a blow since the GFC and we're expecting 2013 to continue at this pace, with less than 600,000 home loans financed for the year," RateCity spokesperson Michelle Hutchison said.
Hutchison said falling interest rates may also make borrowers less likely to refinance as their existing mortgage payments drop, "despite significantly lower rates often available". With the rollback of stamp duty concessions in some states, she said first homebuyers may also be less active in the market.
"More lenders need to work harder if they want to attract and retain their mortgage customers this year," she said.
In response, she said several lenders have already reduced or cut upfront fees, and are offering higher LVRs.