First-time buyers choosing face-to-face dealings for mortgage advice

First-time buyers choosing face-to-face dealings for mortgage advice

While a quarter of the UK's first time property buyers choose to surf the Web to gen up on their mortgage knowledge, well over a third (39%) still seek the reassurance of face-to-face contact with their preferred lender or independent financial advisor (IFA).

The findings are from Alliance & Leicester's First Time Buyer research — its first annual look into the intentions and attitudes of first time buyers. YouGov asked a GB representative sample of 1200 people who have bought a property in the last 12 months, and those who intend to make a purchase within the next year, where they turn to for mortgage advice on their first home and why this was their preferred information source.

Of the 26% who use the Internet as their preferred information resource, 72% cited convenience, while a further 10% opted to use this method because it was so straightforward. Only three per cent of the group chose to go online to benefit from better mortgage deals.

Paul Cooper, Head of Mortgages at Alliance & Leicester, expresses surprise at this finding. "Many lenders now allow customers to apply for mortgages online and quite often there are better deals available on the Internet," he says. "Alliance & Leicester offers some preferential rates to customers who are happy to apply online."

Of the 39% who prefer to deal direct with a recognised lender or intermediary, 23% cited human contact as their most important reason for choosing this route.

Research conducted in the US and released last week by Web Mystery Shoppers International finds that online consumers soon become disillusioned with their experience of shopping for mortgages online. One of the top frustrations is with banks either not including current interest rate information, or hiding it until after the customer is well into the application process.

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