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Comparethemarket.com.au analysed the latest data from AFG, finding that non-majors accounted for 26 per cent of all mortgages issued through the aggregator in the last 12 months, but a significantly higher 32.1 per cent of refinanced mortgages in the same period.
Abigail Koch, spokesperson for comparethemarket.com.au, said that home owners looking to refinance are more willing to consider smaller lenders than first home buyers.
“Where first home buyers likely lack confidence and prefer the perceived safety of the big four, Australians refinancing – having gone through the mortgage process previously – are more comfortable using smaller lenders if it means they can secure a larger loan, lower rate or lower fees,” she said.
“As a result, they may be more willing to compare a variety of providers.”
The data also showed that 29.1 per cent of first home buyers chose a non-major lender in the last 12 months compared to 23.5 per cent of investors.
Ms Koch said that now the economy has stabilised following the GFC, first home buyers are realising that smaller lenders may offer better interest rates and ongoing fees than the majors.
“Investors, however, still tend to plump for the major lenders as they have greater financial muscle when it comes to taking on the risk of financing multiple properties,” she said.