Consumers turn to the internet for cheaper deals

Nearly twice as many people would be likely to apply for a mortgage online if they could be sure they were getting the cheapest deal available, reveals research from Direct Line Mortgages.

With almost 80% of respondents to Direct Lines first online mortgage index anticipating that online mortgages will become more popular, the direct mortgage lender believes the online mortgage market is set to take off.

David Dyer, commercial director for Direct Line Mortgages, says: We believe that the online mortgage market is ready for strong growth in a similar way to the increase in recent times of grocery, music and book shopping online.

Many people realise that the best way to achieve value for money is to go online, as they do currently when taking out a personal loan. That same philosophy will increasingly apply to buying your mortgage..

The Direct Line online mortgage index comes as Direct Line launches its first online only mortgage a two year tracker mortgage at 4.19%, which reverts to a long term tracker rate of 6.00%.

Dyer says: Some providers offer their existing customers a poorer deal as they bid to attract new borrowers with headline rates. We will be providing money saving deals for all customers.

Direct Lines online mortgage index provides an insight into peoples current mortgage habits and where they expect the mortgage market to go in the future.

Currently people looking for a mortgage still value personal contact to help them with the process with 35% making mortgage brokers their first port of call and 28% visiting their local bank.

Once that initial contact has been made however, 52% will research the best deals online.

Of the 26% who then say they are likely to apply for a mortgage online, they cite their top reasons as easy comparison with other lenders (86%); convenience (78%) and expectation of a better deal (69%).

Some 80% believe online mortgages will become more popular in the future and if a lower mortgage rate was available online, 46% say they would be likely to take out an internet mortgage, demonstrating that the online mortgage market is ripe for growth.

Indeed, 73% of respondents expect to see lenders offering their lowest mortgage rates online as well as other incentives to drive people online (88%).

Overall, 94% believe that online mortgages will become more popular because people will generally be doing more online.

Dyer adds: Our online mortgage index proves customers are looking to the internet to drive better mortgage prices.

Weve made our website straightforward and easy to follow so customers can do it for themselves.

Theres no doubt that this is the area of the mortgage market which has yet to meet its full potential and Direct Line intends to be at the forefront of offering customers the best possible deal coupled with the highest levels of service.