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MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 13
12 Mortgage & Finance brief industry news After a turbulent year in most housing markets, MFAA members are much more positive in their outlook for 2012. Richard Pusey, from Switch Now Home Loans in Melbourne, says brokers can be confident of a good year if they put in the hard work with their clients to ensure the best possible chance of generating quality referrals. “Tougher market conditions and new licensing regulations are also reducing the number of brokers competing for work and increasing the opportunities for others, even if the number of buyers around may not increase until well into 2012,” he says. “The biggest challenge ahead is the continuation of low valuations jeopardising willing buyers from completing settlements and the risk that weak international economic conditions continue to pose.” WA-based Mortgage Solutions Australia Director Colin Lamb agrees that natural attrition, plus the NCCP, will create a greater share of business available to fewer mortgage brokers. He expects market conditions to be very similar to 2011, but with renewed confidence due to further rate cuts and increased interest from investors chasing higher rental and property values in mining areas. “My hope for 2012 is that the banks continue to fight for our business and offer the continued improvement in process and service that we enjoyed in 2011,” Lamb says. Warren Dworcan, Director of Rate Detective Home Loans in Perth, believes the global struggles could make for a challenging 2012, but with hard work, innovation and diligence, he is expecting a productive year. He has budgeted for substantial growth. “In 2012 I intend to promote my core business further as well as developing other areas of my operation,” he says. “My intention is to develop my business into an even more diversified enterprise thereby growing in both volume and staff complement.” smartline boosts wA presence National broking franchise, Smartline, will merge with WA-based The Mortgage Gallery in April this year. Together, the two businesses will boast more than 240 franchise operations across Australia, with an average of $4 billion in settled loans per annum and a total loan book worth more than $17 billion. For Smartline, which was last year named Mortgage Broker of the Year at the MFAA Excellence Awards, the merger will bolster its operations in WA, after the company established a foothold in 2009 with the acquisition of Mortgage Power. The Mortgage Gallery was one of the first mortgage broking companies established in Australia and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. The company will continue to trade under its existing brand and the management team will remain in place. “Both groups share similar values and have a similar culture – a culture of helping each other, professionalism and a real client focus,” Smartline Managing Director Chris Acret says. “Both companies have a franchise model with a commitment to helping their franchise owners succeed and grow. Brokers positive for 2012 Majors eye AnZ rate decision With ANZ declaring its intention to move its rates independently of the official RBA cash rate, all eyes are on whether the other majors will follow suit. Westpac did not rule out adopting a similar arrangement, with a spokesperson saying, “Since the commencement of the GFC we have seen quite a few banks making interest rate decisions (up and down) that are at different times and different amounts to the RBA’s announcement on the official cash rate. “Given the lessening impact of the RBA’s cash rate on mortgage and other loan interest costs, we think this is appropriate and will continue.” NAB also did not rule out a change, with George Svigos, Head of Corporate Affairs – Personal Banking, saying, “NAB has offered the lowest standard variable home loan rate for more than 30 months in a row and we are committed to remaining competitive.” Commonwealth Bank declined to comment.
Mortgage and Finance Brief 12
Mortgage and Finance Brief 14