Ideal time to refinance, according to coveted award nominees

While record numbers of mortgagees are refinancing, it's still a small proportion of overall lenders at a time when significant loan repayment savings can be made, according to MFAA State Excellence Awards nominee, Helen Avis of Specialist Mortgage.

Helen Avis and Specialist Mortgage colleagues.
Helen Avis (centre), Finance Director at Specialist Mortgage, and her team, including mortgage brokers Charlotte Greer (right) and Carolyn Xaftellis (left), have been nominated for two MFAA State Excellence Awards. (Image source:

Specialist Mortgage has been shortlisted for two honours in the upcoming MFAA State Excellence Awards.

The organisation is in the running for Best Finance Broker Business Award, while Finance Director Helen Avis, is in contention for the Best Customer Service Award.

Ms Avis, who was the recent recipient of The Advisor’s Better Business Awards for Customer Service Excellence, said the pause in interest rate rises presented borrowers with the breathing space to look for a better deal and to refinance their mortgage.

Ms Avis said that in 2022, Specialist Mortgage saw a 68 per cent leap in the dollar value of loans settled, with a 61 per cent increase in the volume of loans.

With more than 600,000 expatriates returning to Australia since the pandemic, Specialist Mortgage has increased the component of its clientele that comprises repatriated Australians now permanently living in Australia who required finance to purchase homes or are seeking better loan options.

The MFAA State Excellence Awards celebrate brokers, lenders, aggregators and industry professionals at the top of their game who have demonstrated exceptional customer service, professionalism, ethics and growth.

There are 24 awards that are judged based on excellence and professionalism across all areas of the business.

Ms Avis said a testament to their commitment to service was the fact 78 per cent of the company’s business was generated from existing clients and client referrals.

“We are proficient in dealing with those that don’t fit the traditional lending options.

“I communicate with lenders on a policy level and I raise my concerns and those of my clients to bring about meaningful change in lending practices.

“By gaining a stronger insight into how to correctly structure finance packages, we can significantly benefit your overall position.”

Refinancing at record levels for a reason

There are currently record levels of refinancing but this still only represents around 1 per cent of total outstanding housing loans in Australia each month.

Close to $20 billion in property loans were refinanced to new lenders in February – based on Australian Bureau of Statistics lending data – up 23 per cent on the same time last year.

A $500,000 loan taken out at the average rate of 2.98 percent in April 2022 is now paying a 6.48 per cent rate and repayments have gone up by $1,051.

Ms Avis said a renegotiated loan could save mortgagees hundreds of dollars each month.

Specialist Mortgage assists clients with all aspects of Australian property finance. With offices in Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East they specialise in securing residential mortgages for Australian Expatriates and foreign investors, that are often faced with limited affordable options from Australian and overseas lending providers.

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