Tasmania has seen some of the biggest price rises during Australia’s property boom, with mortgage brokers in the state doing more business than ever before.
Hobart has been particularly hard hit, with First Home Buyer (FHB) numbers going up over 200% in the state, fuelled by HomeBuilder and movement away from the cities.
“It started in September last year,” said Narelle Kestan, director and mortgage broker at Gloss Finance in Hobart. “When the first home buyer building boost was introduced, and they knew that the expiry date was at the end of December, we had an influx of applications. That was the first influx. Then, after Christmas, it didn’t die down and we went into the small property boom in Tasmania, which has continued on.”
Tasmanian brokers have had to make structural changes to their business to cope with the unprecedented demand, and those working in the industry have felt the strain of the workload.
“I felt the stress last year in November and December last year, and I had to implement a few changes to deal with the workload,: said Kerstan. “I was working 60 hours a week, so I put on a another member of staff to help. In this busy market, it’s all the compliance and legislation. We’ve been hit double. There’s the ASIC regulation and compliance plus the hot property market. It’s not sustainable.”
Helping clients to understand the new situation is vital to getting them onside, says Kerstan.
“You just have to set different expectations,” she explains. “I set different expectations, and I teach them that it’s four to five days to have the loan ready rather than the one or two days. I set my emails to say that I’ll get back to them in three or four days when I used to do it in one or two. I’ve had to change the expectations of my clients to cope with my stress load.”
“Clients are starting to understand that the banks are taking a long time, so when I tell them that I’ve taking an extra few days to deal with all the work that goes on behind the scenes to get the loan ready, they don’t think anything of it. It’s just letting them know that this is how it is now.”