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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 14
12 Mortgage & Finance brief iNdustry News IN BRIEF Making a comeback CUA re-entered the third-party mortgage market last month, as part of a long-term growth strategy. CUA will distribute its products through Mortgage Choice and Smartline. Pepper opens new facility Non-bank lender Pepper has opened a new mortgage-servicing centre in Parramatta, NSW. The premises will accommodate 80 staff, as well as provide employee training and development. Patrick Tuttle, Pepper’s CEO, described the new centre as an important milestone in the company’s history, and said it would help the non-bank lender consolidate its position in the sector. super funds – super opportunity? The $300 billion self-managed super funds (SMSF) market is increasingly being talked about as the next area of opportunity for brokers to move in to. Mortgage Choice has moved to capitalise on this by introducing a mandatory SMSF educational program for all brokers, while Australian Financial has restructured its team with the reported aim of transitioning itself into a SMSF specialist in 2012. Harrison steps in at LoanKit LoanKit – the aggregation arm of Mortgage Choice – has appointed Barry Harrison as WA State Manager. Harrison is a well- known figure in the mortgage space, and prior to joining LoanKit was WA State Manager of Plan Australia. Heritage expands reach Heritage Bank is setting its sights on significant growth in the mortgage broking market, as part of its long-term growth plan. The bank, which traded as a building society until late last year, is making significant strides as it sets about establishing its new identity. It has already reported an 82% increase in home loan enquiries this year, and it has now made its products available nationwide. Previously, they were unavailable in WA, TAS and NT. Bibby strengthens team Bibby Financial Services has appointed Richard Markowski as Regional Sales Manager. Markowski will help support increasing demand for debtor finance by businesses in the Greater Western Sydney region. First-home buyers on the sidelines Economic uncertainty, the end of stamp duty exemption a nd wor r ies over employ ment a re causing a downturn in first-home buyer activity, according to a Mortgage & Finance Brief straw poll of broker s. While first-home buyers accou nted for a l most 21% of new home loans in December 2011 – the largest percentage since January 2010 (ABS) – brokers are reporting that the market is now flat or declining a nd, due to ever-increasing rental prices, they don’t see that changing soon. David Zadnik, of Hawthorn Finance in Victoria, reports that he has seen a definite softening in the market. “Employ ment is the key for fi r st-home buyer s a nd the employ ment situation remains uncertain. Confidence in their employment is what first- home buyer s need before they can commit.” Zadnik tries to encourage his clients to save a 20% deposit if possible. This means both more manageable repayments and avoiding the lender’s mortgage insurance. “It all comes down to having as much equity as possible. Saving s and the capacity to pay off debt is the key,” he said. In Valley Heights, NSW, Peita Davie s of Choice Home Loans, tells a similar story. She attributes the lack of movement in the first-home buyer market to the ending of the stamp duty exemption . “The market is definitely not on the up. December was quite busy before the st amp duty exemption cut off, but now it is really quite flat. On a $350,000 property, stamp duty comes to around $6,000. So first home buyers are now having to save a lot of extra money,” she said. Davies advises clients who a re unable to meet the banks’ requirements to seek a guarantor loan through their parents, but concedes that most parents are either not in a position to be guarantor or are not prepared to do so. Rua n Bu rger of Home Loans etc in Gladstone, Queen s la nd, who specialises in fi rst-home buyers , say s the fi r st-home buyers’ ma rket is steady but foresee s cond ition s becoming harder. “We are finding that the market for fi rst home buyer s is more or les s steady, but the requi rement s to show genuine savings are certainly making the proce ss more d raw n out,” he said. ONA $350,000 PROPERTy, STAMP dUTy COMES TO AROUNd $6,000. SO FIRST HOME BUyERS ARE NOW HAvING TO SAvE A LOT OF ExTRA money thinkstock
Mortgage and Finance Brief 13
Mortgage and Finance Brief 15