One of the key men behind investor market intelligence in Australia sees a potentially troubling future for Australian property, if some key decision makers get their way.
Alex Whitlock, Director of Momentum Intelligence, prominent property investor and host of the Smart Property Investment podcast, believes the findings from Australia’s Banking Royal Commission will hurt every day borrowers.
Reflecting on his own investment journey, Alex told Bushy Martin on the Get Invested podcast that plans to cut mortgage broker out of the market by banning commissions will have “terrifying” consequences.
“I’m very passionate about this because again, for me as a borrower, if I ended up in the situation where I was in 1998, running around the banks with my hair falling out, literally running round the banks in a blind panic scared for my life that I wasn’t going to get a loan, the thought of going back to that just terrifies me for other Australians, for young people coming up in the marketplace and at the end of the day for the banks, this is … You know, it’s just business,” Alex said.
Alex believes it is a free kick to the ‘Big 4’ banks. Without mortgage brokers, borrows have less access to alternative lenders who create much needed competition and accountability in the market.
What’s more, Alex’s research has shown that an attack on mortgage brokers is unfounded.
In a survey of almost 6000 borrowers, of those that used brokers 96% were satisfied with the service.
“I was watching the findings of the Royal Commission and I was so incensed … you have a very few people talking about Australians as if they just don’t matter,” Alex said.
“I just thought, hang on a second, 60% of Australian borrowers now choose to use a mortgage broker. And that has grown year on year, on year, on year, on year. And what you’re essentially saying, Mr Hayne, CBA, is that most Australians are idiots, they don’t know what’s good for them.
“My survey reflects the fact that people are leaving bank branches just because brokers give them better outcomes, it’s that simple.
“The report that we put out has gone to both sides of government and it’s helped educate politicians that are involved in the decision making process about how critical mortgage broking is to the Australian economy and ultimately to the favourable outcomes of Australian borrowers and it doesn’t matter if you use a broker, or whether you use a bank but this is the thing … Everyone should have a choice.
“If you want to use a bank branch, and I have in the past, hey use a bank branch, but you should be able to choose and even if, whether you’re a broker customer or a bank customer, the tide will rise on every loan because as soon as brokers (go) the impact they have on competitions goes, everybody’s mortgage rates will go up.
On a personal level, Alex has had significant success as a property investor with a portfolio that now exceeds $7 million in value.
“I know that people say that investment is not an emotional thing but it really is in terms of property,” he said.
“I buy shares, I’m not emotional about shares, shares are just purely numbers either ASX listed or globally listed businesses, but property, doesn’t matter whether you’re buying for investment, you’re buying bricks and mortar, warmth, shelter that people are going to live in and it’s creation of accommodation, it’s stimulation to the economy because it stimulates the building industry and it is emotional.
“It’s not infallible, you’re not guaranteed to make money, you’ve still got to put the right moves … It is a partnership for myself and Phil (Tarrant, Alex’s business partner). It’s a partnership with our mortgage broker, with our accountant, with our financial planner, with our conveyancer, with our insurance broker.
Alex said one of the biggest lessons he’s learned on the journey is to take ownership of his decisions.
“I believe very strongly in taking responsibility for yourself in life, in finance,” he said.
“I think greed is when you don’t have a realistic view of what you’re setting out to achieve. I think unfortunately, greed comes often with ignorance and I think people fall foul of making bad investment decisions when they haven’t really thought through what their goals and objectives are.”
Listen to the full interview here.
Not happy with the Banking Royal Commission findings? the quickest and easiest way to make a difference is to do two things:
- Join the recently formed Property Investment Council of Australia by visiting this website and paying just $5/yr to join and build the ranks of other everyday Aussie property owners, so that we have a united apolitical voice to educate and advocate with all governments and protect the interests of all like-minded hard working Australians.
- Jump on two separate websites to sign the petitions and use the easy tick boxes to email your local politicians – Just go to Keep Competition Alive and Broker Behind You.
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