Most expected that another interest rate hike was lurking, with 60% of borrowers tipping a further rise for the next quarter. However, interest rate rises of more than 0.5% would create significant difficulties for 25% of respondents. Demand for home loans was driven partially by first homebuyers, 25% of whom said they expected to buy a property in the next 12 months, and by refinancers. Twenty-four per cent of respondents refinanced in the previous year, and 98% said they derived some benefit. "This is an encouraging result," said Andrew Inwood of Brand Management, who conducted the survey. "We had suspected that borrowers who refinanced were simply being churned from one lender to the next without any real benefit, but this result indicates otherwise." Less surprisingly, the majority of borrowers said that using the internet to research loans was an integral part of their strategy in shopping around for the best deal. "Borrowers build a set of assumptions by looking on the internet," said Inwood. While most respondents had checked out different products, most still preferred a face-to-face meeting with a lender or broker to actually settle on a loan. Paying their loan off sooner was the primary objective for 90% of borrowers - interestingly, 32% were hoping that an inheritance would help them achieve this.
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