Borrowers are increasingly shopping around for a better deal, with 12 per cent of Australian mortgage holders switching providers in the past six months – almost double the number at the same time last year – while a further 23 per cent have contemplated a switch.
The findings, which represent good news for brokers, come from CUA’s National Mortgage Survey: Expectations and Intentions.
The survey found that of those who did change lenders, half did so because of a lower rate, while one third switched due to concerns about fees and charges. The survey made no mention of satisfaction with institutions.
CUA’s annual survey, conducted by Auspoll, also found that 43 per cent of respondents believe interest rates will head upwards in the next six months (versus 18 per cent who predicted a further fall), with 39 per cent stating they would likely move to a fixed rate loan.
Jason Murray, CUA’s general manager of products and marketing, said one of the more significant findings of this year’s survey concerned respondents’ propensity to change lenders. “Whether people are considering fixing [their loan interest rate] or not, they’ve started to be more proactive about shopping around for the best deal,” Mr Murray said, citing lower rates offered by non-bank lenders as a key driver.
The survey’s other findings suggest a less than rosy outlook for the economy. Sixty-two per cent of respondents were concerned with job security, 64 per cent had doubts about the strength of the Australian economy, and three quarters said the high cost of living would impact their spending.
New South Wales residents were the most optimistic, with one quarter believing the economy will improve in 2014, while South Australians were the least optimistic – a complete reversal of the 2013 result.