The rigours of the home loan application process have been described as “stressful” and “overwhelming” by 93 per cent of first home buyers, according to a new survey.
St George Bank’s 2019 Home Buying Survey of 1,173 Australians has reported that 93 per cent of first home buyers (FHBs) have described the home loan application process as either “stressful” (51 per cent) or “overwhelming” (42 per cent) amid the continued tightening of credit conditions.
For respondents that waited less than a week for home loan approval, more than half felt anxious (58 per cent), stressed (55 per cent) and impatient (61 per cent).
Where a borrower had to wait at least seven weeks for approval, almost all respondents felt anxious (96 per cent), stressed (94 per cent) and impatient (93 per cent).
St George’s general manager, Ross Miller, encouraged FHBs not to be disheartened by the rigors of the mortgage application process.
“We want our customers to feel like they’re winning at life and get excited about their home ownership goals, particularly at a time where first home buyers are perfectly placed to take advantage of a cooling market and negotiate a price that works for them in a less competitive environment,” Mr Miller said.
Mr Miller pointed to St George’s online home loan application platform, launched in September 2018, which he said could ease anxiety associated with the processes.
“To help give customers confidence in their application, we developed a new online home loan application platform that provides a friendlier application experience for buyers by addressing some of the common challenges that come with a home loan application,” he said.
The platform is designed to provide users with a personalised insight into their borrowing position, and includes information regarding upfront costs, borrowing capacity, monthly repayment and product offerings.
“Digitising the experience means borrowers can now complete their St George home loan application online and at a time that suits them and could even receive indicative response in as little as 15 minutes,” Mr Miller added.
“Timing and paperwork are also common challenges with home loan applications, so it’s important we bring the best of new technology together with our 80 years’ experience to remove as many hurdles as possible for our customers.”
St George’s research comes amid evidence of a continued rise in credit demand from FHBs, off the back of falling residential dwelling values.
According to the latest Lending to Households and Businesses data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, FHB market share increased to 18.2 per cent in April, up from 17.6 per cent 12 months prior.
[Related: Doubts cast over utility of FHB loan scheme]
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