Mortgage Choice expects booming demand for home loans in Sydney and Melbourne to continue despite recent efforts to put the brakes on investor lending.
The mortgage broker’s loan book grew to a record $49.5 billion in the year to June, and has forecast further solid growth as home loan approvals and settlements rise in number.
That’s despite moves from the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority to limit further growth in investor lending – a key factor driving soaring property prices, particularly in Sydney.
“It’s still a significant market out there and demand is demand,” chief executive John Flavell said.
“Generally speaking, approximately 30 per cent of all loans written by Mortgage Choice are for investors – slightly lower than the market average of 40 per cent.
“The fact that we are slightly underweight when it comes to investor business would suggest we are somewhat sheltered from the threat of a reduction in investor volumes.”
A loss of almost $400,000 from Mortgage Choice’s product comparison website Help Me Choose, and its sale in the previous year of mortgage aggregator LoanKit, contributed to a five per cent fall in net profit to $18.9 million in 2014/15.
Mr Flavell said the performance of Help Me Choose, which offers mortgage and health fund comparisons, would be addressed as a matter of urgency.
“The financial performance of our Help Me Choose business was not as it should have been,” he said.
Staff were recruited too early and improved results in May and June were not enough to offset higher costs, Mr Flavell said.
Mortgage Choice shares gained one cent to $2.01.
MORTGAGE CHOICE DENTED PERFORMANCE OF NEW BUSINESS
* Net profit down 5pct at $18.9m
* Revenue up 3pct at $184.8m
* Fully franked final dividend unchanged at eight cents