Nila Sweeney

After seeing their market share collapse under the weight of the global financial crisis during the past 18 months, non bank lenders are finally starting to reclaim their stake in the mortgage market.

According to the February data from the Australian Finance Group, non bank lenders took 17% of all new loans sold by the mortgage broker. This is more than double the proportion compared to the same period last year. This leaves the bank holding a reduced 83% of the total mortgage sold.

AFG's data is line with the Australian Bureau of Statistics report showing bank lending has slipped to 88.1% of all loans in the fourth quarter of 2009. This resulted in an increase of non bank's market share to 11.9%. The proportion of loans written by the non banks fell to its lowest point of 7.5% in the first quarter of 2009 when banks took 92.5% of all loans sold.

Mark Hewitt, general manager sales and operations with AFG said it's encouraging to see the market share of second tier lenders continuing to strengthen. Home loan comparison of the markets seem to agree.

"We are pleased to see second tier lenders making a strong return in recent months. Borrowers are starting to see these lenders as a genuine alternative to the majors again," he said.

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