kareene koh
Kareene Koh has over 20 years of experience across financial services and consulting. Image Supplied.
  • Kareene Koh has been announced as the new CEO and General Manager for Domain Home Loans
  • Argues most Australians assume loyalty equals receiving the best rate
  • Urges customers to request support from banks if impacted financially by the lockdowns

Less than 10% of Australians are taking advantage of home refinancing, Domain Home Loans new CEO and General Manager, Kareene Koh, has revealed.

Ms Koh joined Domain New Homes following 20 years of experience across financial services and consulting. This includes being the CEO of BrickX and Operating Partner in Potentia Capital – a technology-focused private equity fund.

Additionally, she previously held strategic roles at National Australia Bank and was a partner of Deloitte Digital.

After her appointment was announced, The Property Tribune spoke to Ms Koh to discuss mortgage refinancing and why barely a tenth of Australians are taking advantage of refinancing their homes.

Why should Australians’ take the opportunity to refinance when interest rates are low?

Ms Koh said that most Australians assumed loyalty to their bank would translate into receiving the best interest rate possible on their home loan. However, she argued this is not always the case.

“In actual fact, the gap in interest rates between what a new home loan customer and an existing home loan customer pays will widen over time and starts to happen just three years after establishing your home loan,” she said.

A recent Mozo survey revealed that almost half of all Australians with home loans are loyal to the big four.

So, why are less than 10% of Australians taking advantage of refinancing their homes?

Ms Koh listed three primary reasons why Australians do not change home loan providers.

Firstly, many are not aware they are paying too much for their home.

Secondly, comparisons can be difficult as the best rate on offer can vary based on personal circumstances and the banks often use different terminology

Thirdly, discharging a loan can involve significant paperwork and administration, making it hard for a customer to leave a bank.

“For many customers, it is just too difficult or time consuming.”

“With low interest rates and a competitive environment across all of the banks, I would encourage anyone with a home loan who has not done so already to explore their options and see if there is an opportunity to save money or pay off their home faster.”

Kareene Koh, Domain Home Loans CEO

“That may mean getting a better deal from your existing lender or changing lenders to take advantage of some of the great rates that are out there at the moment.“

Advice for those under mortgage stress, especially in Sydney and Melbourne?

Ms Koh reiterated for those struggling financially during the lockdowns to contact their bank for assistance.

“For customers that are experiencing mortgage stress, there may be a number of options available to them.

“Some banks are choosing to support customers during these difficult times and if you are having trouble making your repayments, it really is important to speak to your bank and understand your options.”

Ms Koh advised that those concerned about the lockdowns continuing to use their spare time to see if they would be better off changing their mortgage.

“Often people are shocked at the savings on offer so don’t assume you are getting a good deal if you have not reviewed your mortgage recently,” she concluded.

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