Owner-occupiers more likely to use mortgage brokers

by Julia Corderoy13 Oct 2015
Almost two-thirds of owner-occupiers favour using a mortgage broker over going direct or conducting research themselves, while refinancers are more likely than first home buyers to use a broker.

These are the findings from new research conducted TNS and commissioned by Aussie Home Loans, which found that over eight in 10 (84%) of people who plan to take out a home loan or refinance in the next 12 months will “probably shop around” for their home loan, while 66% said they are “always on the lookout” for a better home loan deal.

While the majority of respondents shopping around will consider both banks and brokers, the research reveals that 64% of owner occupiers favour using a mortgage broker.

“Borrowers are increasingly savvy about the need to get a second opinion when it comes to making possibly the biggest financial commitment of their lives, and I think this is a really positive trend in such a competitive a market,” Aussie Home Loans chief executive James Symond said. 

Refinancers and first home buyers are the most likely to shop around (87% and 86% respectively), however, interestingly, refinancers feel significantly less confident to compare and select a home loan themselves, with 53% saying they are confident with the process versus 70% for first home buyers.

Symond told Australian Broker that this is because refinancers have gone through the process of obtaining a home loan before, therefore are least likely to romanticise it. 

“[Refinancers] are mostly smarter than FHB’s as they have gone through the process before and understand the value added service and knowledge that brokers provide,” Symond said.

“They understand there are differences between lenders and more to a home loan than just a headline rate.”

But while first home buyers might be more confident to go it alone, Symond says this finding also reveals that there is a big opportunity out there for brokers to better engage with the first home buyer market.

“[Brokers] should push the message that not all loans are the same and there are more aspects of a loan than a headline rate,” he told Australian Broker.

In addition to shopping around more, Aussie’s survey reveals borrowers are also using less traditional research sources. The findings showed social media gained in popularity as a research source, with the percentage of people asking their friends and followers’ advice increasing by 7%. 

Symond says this finding means it is vital that brokers get online. 

“It is essential that brokers have a social media presence as this is the area where many people, especially younger ones, are getting their information from and using as their key communications tool. This is the place where they are so brokers should join the conversation with them,” he told Australian Broker.