Mortgage advice costs go down 20% as competition bites: watchdog

The costs attached to applying for a mortgage have gone down some 20% since mortgage providers were banned from charging commission, the financial services watchdog AFM says on Monday.

Since the beginning of last year, banks and mortgage advisors have had to charge a fee for helping home owners find the best mortgage. Competition between them has led to the average fee dropping from €2,166 to €1,749, the AFM said in a statement.

‘Consumers should not focus purely on price, because the quality of the advice is all important,’ said the AFM’s regulatory chief Michiel Denkers. ‘But the drop in fees thanks to competition is good news.’

Some 30% of mortgage advisors are also prepared to cut a deal over the price, compared with 20% a year ago, the AFM says. Just 2% of home buyers sign a mortgage deal without the intervention of an advisor.

The AFM research also shows people are spending almost an hour less on talking to advisors about their mortgage options and an hour more doing their own research.

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