While home loan activity has slumped in the last few months, data from RateCity shows buyers are benefiting from the increased competition between lenders.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest Housing Finance Report shows the number of home loans written in February was the lowest in over a decade – falling 5.6 per cent from January 2011.
First home buyer loans as a proportion of all home loans has also fallen to 14.9 percent, which is the lowest level since June 2004, according to ABS.
But despite the recent slump, RateCity chief executive Damian Smith said 2011 still represented a good time to buy or save for a deposit.
“The average standard variable rate (across more than 100 lenders monitored by RateCity) is 2.55 percentage points higher than the official cash rate, and that “gap” is 26 basis points more than 12 months ago. But a wider range of rates also means there’s more room for lenders to negotiate on home loans,” he said.
“If you don’t ask you’ll never get the biggest savings no matter how small the offer. Whether it’s a 10 basis point discount off your home loan rate or waived fees, every little bit helps and it can make a big difference to the overall cost of your mortgage.