Sometimes it can seem that everything is being taken over by the digital revolution and that dealing with people face-to-face is a thing of the past, but when it comes to the financial arena it seems there is still value in both lines of communication.
Nearly one in six homeowners (16%) applied for their current mortgage online, according to research from HSBC, and with the application being completed in an average of 30 minutes it's no wonder that the convenience is tempting many people who are pushed for time.
This figure is in fact set to double, with 33% of consumers stating they are likely to apply for their next mortgage online. And it seems consumers are increasingly dealing with a variety of financial products via the internet, with 69% expecting to apply for their next insurance policy online and 56% for a savings account.
The reasons people give as to why they hit the computer for their financial dealings is that they believe it to be quicker (63%), more convenient (54%) and cheaper (43%), and happily they seem to be having positive experiences as 79% of householders who applied online for their last mortgage would do so again.
It seems the more computer savvy younger generations have more confidence in the internet, with 53% of homeowners between the ages of 25 and 34 planning to apply for a mortgage online compared to just 19% of those over the age of 55.
However, there is still clearly a place for face-to-face advice and, with the new rules following the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) in place, people may be feeling they want the security of an individual guiding them through the process. When applying for their current mortgage it seems 74% spoke face-to-face to an adviser and 47% of those who expect to remortgage would like to receive one-to-one individual advice on their next application, emphasising there is still a requirement for the personal approach.
Peter Dockar, head of mortgages at HSBC, said: "With current and prospective homeowners becoming more comfortable with the convenience and control of managing their finances online, and with the time taken to complete the mortgage application process reduced to just 30 minutes, it is perhaps less of a surprise that online mortgage applications are set to double.
"However, a mortgage is often the biggest financial decision anyone is likely to take in their lifetime so qualified advice remains of significant importance to the householders we polled."
Online convenience and the fact that you can often search out very good deals on the internet is clearly drawing people into the digital world, but it is apparent there are still many people who would like to be guided through these important purchases by an advisor they can trust – and see! Getting suitable financial advice is key, as is securing the best mortgage rate, ensuring you can enter into this financial commitment with confidence.
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