January 05, 2012
Borrowers' preference for fixed rate home loans is continuing at an unrelenting pace regardless of recent cash rate cuts, national loan approval data from Mortgage Choice has revealed.
Fixed rate loans accounted for 24% of all new home loan approvals during December 2011, up from 21% in November and well above the 12-month average of 15%. Demand for this loan type has risen for seven consecutive months, increasing 13 percentage points since May 2011.
Company spokesperson Belinda Williamson said, "Consecutive cash rate cuts in November and December 2011 have not swayed Australian borrowers' desire for fixed rate loans."
"It is possible borrowers' need for certainty around their home loan repayments, coupled with the affordability of fixed rate loans are the driving forces behind demand for this loan type.
"During December fixed rates were significantly lower than variable rates, in some cases the difference was one percentage point or more.
"Our loan data shows fixed rates are now more in demand than they have been in over three and a half years at the expense of variable rates, which have lost popularity among new borrowers.
"Customer demand for variable rate loans fell from 79% to 76%, well down on the 12-month average of 85%. The most popular variable rate home loan with new borrowers, ongoing discount rate loans, slipped to 41% from 44%."
Basic variable loan demand rose marginally to 15% of all approvals in December, up from 14% in November while standard variable loan demand fell slightly to 16% from 17%. Interest in line of credit loans dropped to 3% from 4% and the uptake of introductory rate loans was steady at 1%.
Note: Mortgage Choice currently writes one in 25 new home loans in Australia, equating to approx. $10 billion in approvals per year, hence it provides a clear insight into borrower preferences. The 19 year old mortgage broker has a loan book of over $42 billion.
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