Big four banks to lose home loan market share in 2014 with a competitive year ahead.
The year 2014 is set to bring about a renewed sense of competition in the Australian home loan market and while the competition spells good news for borrowers the nation’s top four banks have enough reason to worry.
Finder.com.au analysed data released by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) at the end of 2013 and found that the four leading banks (NAB, Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and ANZ) managed to lose close to one per cent of their market share of owner-occupied and investment home loans.
In November 2012, the top four banks accounted for 85.27 per cent of the market share, but this figure dropped to 84.5 per cent in November 2013. While this period saw a drop, the preceding year (2011 to 2012) witnessed an increase in market share by 3.04 per cent.
This shift is more pronounced with owner-occupied loans (at 0.89 per cent) when compared to investment home loans (at 0.52 per cent). The overall market share increase in the previous year stood at 1.77 per cent for investment loans and 3.65 per cent for owner-occupied loans.
While there is a drop in the market share for the big four, it’s important to remember that between them they still account for a significant majority of the Australian home loan market, a figure currently pegged at around $1.2 trillion. However, this figure doesn’t include non-bank lenders.
In addition to losing out on market share, it appears that these lenders have also witnessed a slowdown in the amount of money that was lent out in comparison to the previous year. These banks increased their total mortgage funding pool in 2012 by over $96 billion, or 11 per cent. But in 2013, they increased this pool by only $58.5 billion, or six percent.
If the top four banks continue to offer higher rates in comparison to their competitors, this downward trend could continue. With borrowers becoming more tech savvy and turning online to compare their alternatives, the dent in the big four’s market share could grow even more.
More banks spell more competition
The past year has seen the listing of four more banks, which puts increased pressure on existing banks who are already vying for borrowers’ attention. The new banks include Woori Bank, Police Financial Services Limited, Police Bank and Bank of Sydney. Between them, the newcomers account for around 0.21 per cent of the home loan market.
What this means for borrowers in 2014
This seemingly small shift is a sign of a home loan market bracing for increased competition, which is definitely good from a borrower’s point of view. If this pattern continues it could well translate into increased opportunities for borrowers taking out owner-occupied loans and investment home loans alike.
Borrowers now have the option to turn to websites like finder.com.au to compare offerings from most home loan providers in the country, regardless of whether they’re looking for a new loan or keen to switch from their existing home loan.
How comparing can help
An increasing number of Australians are turning to finder.com.au to compare loan offerings from multiple lenders because such comparisons tends to yield good results. For a home loan of $300,000, while the average discounted variable rate in January 2014 of the top four banks stands at 5.29 per cent. During the same period you would’ve found almost 70 more variable rate loans that come with interest rates lower than 5.29 per cent when you go through finder.com.au.
With more and more borrowers comparing their home loan options online, this is certainly going to put more pressure on the nation’s leading banks. Online comparisons are easy to do and for borrowers, can often result in lower rates and a much better home loan deal.