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Today the RBA met for the first time in 2021 and have decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 0.10%.

Our central bank will have been encouraged by recent better than expected unemployment and CPI numbers. It will also be keeping a close eye on rising house prices, lending growth, the continued impact of COVID-19 on our major trading partners, the Australian dollar and its effect on exporters and the looming reduction to government support packages.

Rates are at a record low and lenders continue to offer very competitive rates. An AFG broker can answer your questions and look at your circumstances to make sure you’re prepared for what could be coming next. This could mean refinancing or approaching your lender for a better rate. Because an AFG broker does this type of work every day, they have a pretty good idea what lenders can do to win or keep your business.

We’re here to help if you have any questions. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

Australian Finance Group (ASX:AFG) has today announced a record-breaking quarter with more than $19.9 billion of home finance lodged by AFG brokers across the second quarter of the 2021 financial year.

AFG CEO David Bailey explained the results: “The national figure represents an increase of 9.5% on the first quarter of the 2021 financial year and an increase of 30% on the corresponding quarter last year.

“Gains were recorded across the country – New South Wales up 3.5% for the quarter, Queensland up 7.8%, South Australia up 0.4%, Victoria up 18% and Western Australia recording a 13.3% jump on Q1 2021. The Northern Territory recorded a drop of 10%.

“With travel off the agenda for many, the home has become even more important and 42% of lodgements were for those upgrading their homes.

“Government incentives for First Home Buyers continue to support those looking for their first home with 22% of lodgements being made by those taking their first steps into the housing market,” he said. “A record high Loan to Value Ratio of 73% is due to the high proportion of First Home Buyers who typically have smaller deposits.

The percentage of Investor loans being taken out remains at an all-time low of 21%.

“The market is well aware that low interest rates are likely bottoming out and this has seen the percentage of customers choosing a Fixed Rate product still high at 29.2%,” he said.

“Low interest rates on offer has also meant homeowners are taking the opportunity to pay down their debt faster with a record 88% choosing a Principal & Interest product over an Interest Only loan. The average loan size is also at record levels, coming in at $544,359 for the quarter.

“With the four big banks leveraging their funding advantage through very competitive pricing and cash back offers, smaller lenders’ share of the market has remained at 41%.

“The Westpac stable of brands – Westpac, BOM, BankSA and St George – have increased their combined market share by 2.5% to be sitting at 18.7% while CBA group – CBA and Bankwest – have dropped 4.7% to now be holding 20.7% of the market.

The federal government has outlined the importance of access to credit for the economic recovery of the country. To help gauge the flow of activity in the market and the time involved for a residential application to progress to formal approval, AFG will now include a weighted average Lender Turnaround Time (LTT) indicator in the AFG Index.

“The LTT analysis shows the average number of days from submission of the loan application
by the broker, to the lender providing formal approval, is sitting at 25 days. Reflective of the level of activity in the market, this is the highest it has been at any point over the last three years and a blow out of around 4 days from 12 months ago,” he concluded.

Download full report here

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After five years as a star performer within the AFG Home Loans business, Adam Barker has been appointed to the role of State Sales Manager for Queensland and the Northern Territory at AFG.

AFG National Manager – Strategic Partners and Recruitment Them Lam announced the appointment to staff today. “By taking on the State Sales Manager role Adam will now shift his focus to work alongside AFG’s industry partners in Queensland and NT and to take on the responsibility for the recruitment of new brokers and broker businesses to AFG.

Adam will also join the AFG Strategic Partnership team and will work closely with Them to support AFG’s strategic partners located in his region.

“We believe Adam is the perfect fit for the role and the right person to head up this important part of the business,” said Them. “I am very confident Adam will make his mark on the role.”

After a long career in the banking and finance industry Adam is looking forward to the challenges his new role will bring. “Taking on the role of State Sales Manager was an easy decision,” he said. “I firmly believe that AFG has the staff and resources to help any broker business – small, medium or large – grow and be equipped with market leading tools and support.

“It is a passion of mine to build and maintain strong relationships within the industry and there’s no better opportunity to do that than in this role.

“I’m also really looking forward to working closely with our lender partners and assisting them with the organisation and roll out of our very successful regular Lender Training Sessions and Professional Development Days.”

Adam begins in the role this week.

Australian Finance Group has won a global award for the company’s bespoke broker learning development program and platform.

AFG is one of three winners globally in the SAP Litmos ‘Lenny Awards’ in the category – Best Customer Training Program.

SAP Litmos has over five thousand enterprise customers and 22 million users in more than 130 countries and received hundreds of entries across each of the 10 distinct categories in the 2020 Lenny Awards. This year marks the first time AFG has entered the awards.

The global award comes on the back of AFG’s recent national award for Training & Education Program of the Year in the 2020 Australian Broking Awards.

2020 has seen the company’s L&D platform, called Learn, expand to more than 265 courses for the AFG broker network to access within the platform. In addition, brokers can also revisit video and instructional content from past courses at any time.

AFG CEO David Bailey thanked the Learning and Development (L&D) team for their innovative approach and support of the AFG broker network. “We recognised early on that the disruption caused by COVID19 would mean the way brokers would want to access training, support and information would change very quickly.

“The L&D team of Peter Kailis and Sahani Burah have worked throughout the disruption caused by COVID-19 to ensure our brokers were supported with access to world-class training, resources and professional development opportunities” he said.

Across the year, AFG have also run 142 webinars which were attended by 40,655 brokers on top of their regular online lender accreditation series. In total, our brokers have completed over 70,000 CPD points using the AFG Learn program.

AFG broker Catherine McFarlane, Oxygen Home Loans General Manager, congratulated the L&D team on the win and thanked them for the role the L&D team played in keeping the sense of community among AFG and the broker network. “I reached out to Peter to thank the team for all of their hard work on the webinars this year. They were a godsend for many people through such a tough year and their efforts did not go unnoticed.”

“AFG has been working to support our brokers’ personal and business growth for over 26 years,” said David. “With an easy-to-use platform supported by industry leading content and tailored training courses, as well as a protective compliance framework, we are confident our brokers will continue to be at the forefront of the industry.

“The success of our business rests with the commitment we have to providing the platform for their success.”

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AFG Customer 360 mock-up

Australian Finance Group Ltd (AFG) has launched Customer360, a new broker fact-find and document collection tool which is now available to all AFG brokers Australia-wide.

AFG Chief Operating Officer, John Sanger said, “Customer360 is the first product to be rolled out as part of AFG’s full technology and platform refresh and will sit as part of our game-changing platform for brokers called Suite360”.

“The ability for a broker to deliver a frictionless and user-friendly fact-find to their customers is key to ensuring a good experience and driving their efficiency.”

“For those customers who prefer a digital engagement experience, Customer360 saves time by collecting the right information at the right time in the application process.”

“In addition, it lays the groundwork for a faster application process by securely collecting supporting documents and integrating seamlessly with AFG’s new CRM platform.”

Customer360 is part of AFG’s broader suite of broker tools, which includes other products like their award-winning SMART Marketing and Learn L&D platforms.

AFG Chief Operating Officer John Sanger spoke about how AFG’s strong focus on continuous technology innovation is key to keeping pace with changing industry demands and customer expectations. “We have taken this opportunity to refresh our underlying technology platform, working with leading enterprise technologies together with start-up innovators,” said John. “We have been very fortunate to have support from a range of broker groups, from individual operators to large scale enterprises, to ensure the design of new products like Customer360 work for all business types.

“We would like to thank the AFG Brokers who have taken the time to provide their insights and test the tools as we develop the new suite. Their help has been invaluable and ensured that the customer experience is kept front and centre.”

“The changes we are making now will give us flexibility and agility as we build tools and applications for brokers into the future.”

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After a challenging year, the RBA has met for the final time in 2020 and decided to leave the cash rate unchanged.

After reducing the rate three times during the year, including to a record low of .10% last month, the RBA opted to wait until its next meeting in February to further assess the impact of these reductions and its quantitative easing program.

In the lead up to the next meeting our central bank will continue to monitor the global COVID-19, the opening of state borders, our exchange rate and its impact on export competitiveness and the looming reduction to government support packages.

Rates are at a record low and lenders continue to offer very competitive rates. An AFG broker can answer your questions and look at your circumstances to make sure you’re prepared for what could be coming next. This could mean refinancing or approaching your lender for a better rate. Because an AFG broker does this type of work every day, and has a pretty good idea what lenders can do to win or keep your business.

If you’d like to chat about the best way to manage your mortgage as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.

Archive

AFG is proud to announce that AFG General Manager Industry & Partnership Development, Mark Hewitt, has been named in the second annual Global 100 list. Spanning the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the UK, the Global 100 recognises leaders making a difference in today’s market through the achievements of their own companies, industry associations and industry education. Mark is a prolific contributor to the Australian Mortgage Broking industry with dual roles as AFG General Manager Industry & Partnership development and co-chair of the Combined Industry Forum. Click here to view the full list.
As the country tunes in for the 2020 Melbourne Cup, the cash rate decision for November has been announced and rates have been cut. In response to the economic impact being caused by the COVID-19 crisis, the RBA reduced the cash rate by 0.15% to a new record low of 0.1%. In making this change the RBA has confirmed the views of many analysts that further stimulus is required to aid Australia's recovery post COVID. It had previously stated that it sees a cash rate of 0.25% as a floor however it has softened its stance on a reduction more recently. In the lead up to its next meeting our central bank will continue to monitor world events such as the second round of European lockdowns and the US election, while closer to home it will be hoping the easing of restrictions in Victoria and the opening of state borders will provide a lift to the economy. As you're probably aware, lenders review rates independently of the RBA and some may decide to pass this rate decrease on to customers at different levels over varying time frames. An AFG broker can help review your situation to ensure you have the right loan for your circumstances, drawing on a wide panel of lenders offering loans with great features, low fees and competitive interest rates. If you’d like to chat about the best way to manage your mortgage as the COVID-19 crisis continues to unfold, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with an AFG broker.
Modern 2-storey home
(ASX:AFG) The AFG Index released today shows another period of growth for AFG brokers to close out the first quarter of the 2021 financial year. More than 35,400 residential loans were lodged, with volume surpassing $18 billion for the quarter, eclipsing last quarter's record-breaking levels. AFG CEO David Bailey explained the results: "The first quarter of the 2021 financial year has seen AFG record its highest-ever lodgement volume and represents a lift of just over 8% on last quarter. Against the corresponding period in FY2020 it is 16% higher. The surge was largely driven by an uptick in First Home Buyers as they make the most of federal and state government incentives to support the country's construction market. "Mortgage brokers have played a vital role in ensuring first home buyers were in prime position to access the various incentives and understand their choices. A total of 23% of all lending applications processed by AFG brokers during the quarter were for those purchasing their first home. "Whilst remaining stable, the refinance boom evident in the months during the broader national lockdown now appear to have returned to more traditional levels, whilst upgraders have maintained a strong position in the market," he said. "Those who are confident in their own personal financial circumstances during the pandemic are looking for opportunities to move to a larger home. "As brokers have navigated the challenges of this period of market disruption, their role as a trusted support for their customers has meant they have continued to assist customers across the country. Whilst understandably Victorian numbers have not reflected the broader Australian experience, the result recorded is still in line with that recorded in the last quarter of FY20, and still ahead of the same quarter last year. "With record low interests expected to be maintained for an extended period property prices are being supported by a strong underlying demand for residential mortgage finance. "Looking across the country, the Victorian lockdown has resulted in a flat result quarter on quarter, and the Northern Territory recorded a drop, whilst growth has continued in all other states. When compared to the same period last year, the increases show an alignment to the levels of lockdown in response to COVID-19 that have been experienced in each state - New South Wales was up 12.5%, Queensland and South Australia were both up 31% and Western Australia was up 38%. Principal and Interest (P&I) loans continue to track upwards as more customers take advantage of the lower interest rates on offer to pay off their mortgages faster. "Once again, although not reported in the AFG Index, a look at the number of AFG Home Loans' securitized product customers seeking assistance with their mortgage payments provides an insight into current market conditions.," he said. "Pleasingly, the numbers have further decreased. As of 8 October, the numbers of customers with deferral arrangements for their P&I loans has dropped from 4.34% at the close of last quarter to 0.87%. In addition, 2.22% of AFG Home Loans securitized product customers have switched from P&I to Interest Only repayment arrangements. This is down from 4.38% at the end of FY20. With tight regulations affecting rental markets the number of people applying for Investment loans also dropped to its lowest level since December 2012, to now be sitting at 21% of the market. "After a tough six months competing against cash-back offers and competitive fixed rates from the major lenders, the non-majors have regained market share, rising from 33.2% at end of FY20 to 41.1% in FY21 Q1 "The major lenders' market share dropped from 66.8% at the end of the 2020 financial year, the highest level since 2017, down to 58.9% at the close of Q1," said Mr Bailey. "This trend was most evident when looking at the majors' share of refinances, which tumbled from a high of 71.1% at the end of the 2020 financial year to 58.1% at the close of Q1 2021. "ANZ was the standout, recording a significant drop in market share, sliding from 25.53% back to 9.67%. The Westpac Group seemed to be the beneficiaries, rising from 10.37% to 16.27% of the majors' market share." The non-majors experienced growth across all buyer types, with the biggest rises being recorded by Refinancers and Upgraders. The non-majors' share of refinances jumped from 28.9% to 41.9% in FY21Q1 and market share for those upgrading increased from 34.4% to 41.2%. Queensland and New South Wales lead the country for the non-majors, with market share increases in both states increasing by 10% and 8% respectively. Among the non-majors, Macquarie recorded the largest lift in market share, rising from 6.74% to 10.25% for the quarter. "The national average loan size is decidedly lower, dropping from $542,555 at the close of the last quarter to $514,532. This drop is largely driven by the profile of borrowers, in this case the presence of more First Home Buyers in the mix. This corresponds with a small uptick in LVR, again a reflection of the volume of First Home Buyers in the data. Download full report here -ends-