Mortgage blog: Would you apply for your mortgage online?
2012 figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed that Brits are the biggest online shoppers in the developed world. Six out of ten British adults use the internet to buy products such as food, clothing, music or holidays, twice the average of the OECD's 34 member states, which include the US, Germany, Australia and France.
While millions of people head online to buy groceries, music and gifts, would you use the web to buy your next mortgage? More and more borrowers are heading online to arrange their finances and new data from HSBC shows that this is set to double in the next few years.
One in six borrowers apply for their mortgage online
Research from HSBC has found that almost one in six homeowners (16%) applied for their current mortgage online with this number set to double, with 33% saying they are likely to apply for their next mortgage online. UK consumers are showing an increasing preference to deal with their finances online with 63% believing it to be quicker. Over half (54%) said it was more convenient and 43% thought it was cheaper.
The poll of over 1,700 householders, also revealed that three quarters (74%) of existing mortgage holders applied for their current mortgage face-to-face with an adviser.
Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: "With current and prospective homeowners becoming more comfortable with the convenience and control of managing their finances online, and with the time taken to complete the mortgage application process reduced to just 30 minutes, it is perhaps less of a surprise that online mortgage applications are set to double."
Borrowers urged to get professional advice
Almost four out of five householders who applied online for their last mortgage would do so again (79%), suggesting they had a positive experience. Of those who applied for their last mortgage in a branch, 44% would make their next mortgage application online, compared to 46% of those who applied for their last mortgage via the telephone.
Keith Osborne, editor of Whathouse.co.uk, remarks: "Your mortgage is likely to be the biggest financial decision you make in your life and so it's clear that many people still want to seek professional advice before applying. While applying for a mortgage online may be quick and convenient, I still think that most people would benefit from professional advice - from an independent broker - before making a decision."
The HSBC research found that younger homeowners are the most likely to apply for a mortgage online, with 53% of 25-34s planning to do so compared to 19% of over-55s.
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