First home buyers are expected to be the most active player in the Australian home finance market during 2012, a national survey has found.
According to a recent poll by Loan Market Group, 36 per cent of brokers expect first home buyers to dominate the housing finance market this year.
Of the 252 respondents, 33 per cent said investors would be the dominant market segment, while 30 per cent said it would be refinancers.
"Our brokers are divided on which consumer group will dominate in 2012 but the majority think first home buyers will be the most active," Loan Market chief operating officer Dean Rushton said.
Mr Rushton said first home buyers were the consumer group to re-emerge from hibernation during 2011, spurred on by the Reserve Bank of Australia lowering the official cash rate twice during the final quarter of the year.
"2011 was a savings year for many potential home owners and with the likelihood of further interest rate reductions and softened property prices, 2012 appears to be primed for first home buyers to enter the market," he said.
Mr Rushton said investors were another growing market force and there was evidence last year of first home buyers also targeting investment properties as their entry point to the property market.
"Refinancing activity is also set to continue in 2012 with borrowers having a greater capacity to switch lenders and secure a better deal," he said.
"There can be as much as a percentage point difference between the variable home mortgage rates currently on offer and people are starting to realise it's worth shopping around."