Mortgagees are often inclined to shop around or push for discounts when interest rates are rising, but when borrowing rates are declining - as they have been now for some years - borrowers can tend towards a much more laissez faire or "set and forget" approach.
With the cash rate having been slashed from 7.25 per cent to just 2 per cent since March 2008 existing homeowners have benefited from an enormous mortgage affordability dividend.
In turn this uniquely Australian dynamic has generated aggregate mortgage buffers on an scale unprecedented for this country, with the average home loan up to 30 months ahead of schedule depending upon your preferred data source.
Of course more recent entrants to the market have not experienced this luxury, although they have often accessed borrowing rates close to record low levels.
As a result of he above repeated cuts to the cash rate have not to date generated the boost to household consumption that might have otherwise been expected, which itself has served to maintain downward pressure on interest rates.
Gearing ratios decline
The latest Finance & Wealth figures from the ABS released this week for the period to Q2 2015 showed that the debt to assets ratio of Australian households has actually been declining for more than three years now from a peak of 22.1 per cent to 20.5 per cent.
Naturally rising share markets (until earlier in this calendar year at least) and house prices in Sydney and Melbourne have accounted for much of the decrease in the gearing ratio.
Similarly the ratio of residential mortgage debt to land and dwelling values declined further in the June 2015 quarter to 28.4 per cent from a peak of 30.7 per cent in Q3 2012.
The Foreign Investment Review Board's FY2015 Annual Report is due to be released soon, which will shed some further light.
Record household wealth
The gains in the June quarter were driven by an explosion in land and dwelling values in New South Wales - refer here for my analysis of the Residential Property Price Indexes for Q2 2015.