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Highly competitive home loan deals offered by Australia’s big four banks has seen them grab market share from their non major competitors, according to AFG, Australia’s biggest mortgage broker. AFG Mortgage Index shows the market share of the major banks and the brands owned by them increased to 82.1% from 80.4% in May, while non major market share fell back from 19.6% to 17.9%.
The market share grab was largely driven by refinancing which reached a record level for the year in June, as buyers scrambled to take advantage of the offers.
Two out of every five mortgages (39.2%) processed last month were for refinancing. The last time refinancing was at this level was in December 2010 when it touched 41.5%.
Mark Hewitt, General Manager of Sales and Operations says: ‘We have never seen the major lenders as hungry for business as they are right now. They have some very competitive offers on rates, fees and switching incentives, and people who already have mortgages are seeing the benefits of reviewing their arrangements. Where we get concerned is that non majors don’t necessarily have the balance sheets to compete. The official ending of exit fees will only further damage the prospects of creating an open market contested by a variety of different players.’
AFG Mortgage Index also shows that, for the first month since the devastating December and January floods, mortgage sales in Queensland reached the same level as the same month last year ($528 million in volume). Elsewhere, performances of the different states varied widely, with sales up, compared to June 2010 by 6.4% in WA, 5.6% in NSW and 21.3% in SA. In Victoria sales declined by 6.5% compared to June 2010.
71% of buyers opted for basic or standard variable mortgages, with only 8.2% choosing to lock in rates with a fixed rate mortgage. This is broadly in line with last month’s data on loan types.
Download – July Mortgage Index – National