4 scary stats on Aussie home owners from the Westpac Home Ownership Report

By Kylie Moss ·

The latest Westpac Home Ownership Report, which surveyed 1,000 ‘Next Home Buyers’ or NHBs, has revealed that there is a significant education gap amongst Australia’s homeowners on key financial concepts and that most lack the needed confidence in buying property at an auction.  

According to the report, over 56% of Australians admitted that they are too scared to purchase property at an auction, 49% of people admitted that they did not know exactly what equity is, 48% did not know exactly what an offset account is, and 41% weren’t sure on what refinancing was.

“When you consider that a ‘NHB’ according to Westpac is defined as an owner-occupier who is either considering or prioritising buying a home, upsizing or downsizing, that’s pretty scary stuff,” said Peter Marshall, Mozo’s Product Data Manager.

“These are people who already have a home loan and it goes to show that even after the banking royal commission that revealed the extent of shoddy lending practices much more upfront education is needed to explain key concepts and product features to ensure that borrowers get the best deal for their situation.”

“If you don’t have a good idea of what a comparison rate is, the benefits of an offset account or how the equity in your house can determine the interest rate you’ll pay, you’re more likely to end up with a home loan that doesn’t best meet your needs,” he said.  

Key home financing terms:

If you feel like you might not pass a home financial knowledge test, then get yourself up to scratch here.

Comparison rate: 

This is designed to help you understand the overall cost of a loan and should be the rate that you compare loans side by side on. It is a combination of the headline interest rate with the common fees (application and ongoing fees) to show the true costs. All home loan lenders in Australia are required to display them next to the headline rates and on mozo.com.au you’ll find the comparison rate clearly indicated in our tables .

Equity: 

This is the difference between the property’s value and the amount you owe on the property. Sometimes this is also referred to as the LVR or loan to value ratio. If your property’s value is $750,000 and you have a $500,000 home loan your LVR is 66% or you have 34% equity in your home.

100% offset:

If this option is available on your home loan, it means 100% of the balance in your transaction offset account will act the same as though it was in your mortgage account. An offset account helps to reduce your interest repayments allowing you to pay your loan off sooner. For instance, if you have a home loan of $500,000 and you have $10,000 in your offset account. You will only pay interest on $490,000. Check out our offset account explained guide for more information.

Refinancing: 

This is when a borrower decides to either switch home loans from one lender to another or to a new loan with the same lender. There are a number of reasons why you would refinance from reducing your repayments to getting a loan that offers more flexible features.

Now that you’ve had a touch up on the different home loan terms, kick start your home loan search in our comparison hub or check out our how to beat the competition at an auction guide with tips from Mozo’s home loan expert Steve Jovcevski.

Refinance options - page last updated October 17, 2020

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*WARNING: This comparison rate applies only to the example or examples given. Different amounts and terms will result in different comparison rates. Costs such as redraw fees or early repayment fees, and cost savings such as fee waivers, are not included in the comparison rate but may influence the cost of the loan. The comparison rate displayed is for a secured loan with monthly principal and interest repayments for $150,000 over 25 years.

**Initial monthly repayment figures are estimates only, based on the advertised rate, loan amount and term entered. Rates, fees and charges and therefore the total cost of the loan may vary depending on your loan amount, loan term, and credit history. Actual repayments will depend on your individual circumstances and interest rate changes.

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Kylie Moss
Kylie Moss
Content and community director

With a solid 20 years of financial and communications experience, Kylie works alongside all of our Mozo experts to ensure that all content published is informative, accurate and beneficial to consumers. Her hands-on approach to empowering everyday Australians to lead financially healthier lives is a passion she lives and breathes, achieving this by thinking outside the box on all money matters.