Rimas Veselis - 24 Sep, 2021

First home buyers choose to go digital this spring

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As Australian businesses continue to boost their online presence, new data from Commonwealth Bank has revealed that more first home buyers and existing customers than ever are using digital tools and online calculators, to get information and interact with lenders about their home loan.

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Since July 2020, CommBank has seen a 2,000% increase in digital contracts (known as DigiDocs) replacing paper contracts, along with approximately 90% of all property transactions now being settled online.

A record 370,000 current Commonwealth Bank customers are using digital tools to interact with their account an average of 26 times a month, an increase of 13 percent compared to 2020.

Executive General Manager of Home Buying Dr Michael Baumann believes that the increased use of digital tools is due to several factors. 

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“Restrictions around movement and face-to-face meetings as well as COVID-19 induced policy changes around government processes has meant the home buying process has become increasingly digital”, he said.

Baumann is also predicting that investors will return this spring buying season due to the rates available.

“The current low-rate environment is attractive to investors seeking a higher yield on their investments. The huge injection of government stimulus into the economy over the past 12-18 months will also see some investors who fear inflation invest in property which will further increase the investor mix of new approvals.”

Couple on the sofa contacting their digital lender

What do I need to know as a first-time home buyer?

It hasn’t been easy for first home buyers with house prices up 18% in the last 12 months, but with no signs of price reductions ahead, it’s vital to be as prepared as possible for when the time comes to buy, even in a digital environment.

Many factors contribute to deciding when to buy and determining the right property for your needs, including price, lifestyle, school options, crime rates, and transport infrastructure.

Along with being an ideal starting point for first home buyers to begin their loan process, using online digital tools can help give you fast and realistic figures that you need to consider before you start looking at property.

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Helpful digital tools

eChoice calculators are helpful digital tools that allow you to determine the most important figures needed when beginning your home loan enquiries, including:

  • Borrowing Power: The amount you can potentially borrow depending on your personal circumstances.
  • Loan Repayment: How large your repayments would be, including the total amount of interest payable, repayment frequency, and loan type.
  • Stamp duty calculator: The amount of stamp duty you could pay depending on the property value and location.
  • Buying Costs: The upfront costs of your purchase that takes into account your state, government fees and grants, lender establishment fees, and other expenses.
  • Rate comparison: A database with over 25 lenders to help find the right match for your needs.

Consider applying for government schemes

Another helpful way to counteract affordability challenges is to apply for government homebuyer schemes, which are still available thanks to new spots released in July.

Available from a select number of lenders, the schemes include the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, the HomeBuilder Grant, the First Home Super Saver Scheme, and the Family Home Guarantee.

Dr Baumann has revealed that Commonwealth Bank still has some spots available from their allocation.

“Pleasingly for buyers there are still spots remaining under the Family Home Guarantee and New Home Guarantee schemes and we encourage customers to contact their lender or broker about applying,” Dr Baumann stated.

Words by Rimas Veselis

For more information on the First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, the First Home Super Saver Scheme, and the Family Home Guarantee, contact us today to determine whether you are eligible.

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