A lot has happened in the last couple of months both from the business perspective and lending in New Zealand. Property sales are on the up, rates still way down and new lenders have come to the market.
iLender started out as The Mortgage Lender and I rebranded it to iLender to more reflect what we do. Mortgages, Home Loans, Construction Loans, Bridging Finance, Bespoke Mortgages and Second Mortgages.
The website www.ilender.co.nz has been revamped and the most exciting development is a network of Registered Financial Advisers up and down the Country with more coming on board in the coming months. So for people who need a personal visit as opposed to simply dealing on-line can now have what they want. (I don’t take it personally, honest!)
TradeMe is an important part of our business with nearly 20% of our enquiries coming from the site. We have over 50 customer reviews means new customers can read actual reviews from existing customers so they know what to expect. Expert advice, speedy service dedicated to them, not the Banks.
Property sales are nearly at 2007 levels in many areas with prices on the up. The doomsayers have been proved wrong as quite simply people need to have somewhere to live, either own or rent, and each property has to have an owner. Demand for investment property is really strong as rents have increased in the main centres. Development has restarted with new sub-divisions and many properties sold and with tenants lined up before the property is even finished.
New lending has come to New Zealand in the form of an Australian Lender called Resimac. Huge in Australia, they bought NZF Homeloans earlier this year and now offer a range of products via Brokers only, specialising in Lo Doc home loans for the Self Employed. They also offer Bank matching rates for employed but I can’t help but think that most people would rather deal with a Bank.
We also have a new genuine Kiwi owned Bank, not Kiwibank! This locally owned Bank has great service and offers a product, unique amongst Banks, for those who have had a glitch on the credit file. They play fair too, loading the interest rate by 2% for only 12 months and then reducing it to Bank rates as long as the mortgage has been paid on time.
Credit referencing has also changed. Be careful about applying for too much credit and not taking it up. Too many enquires on your file can mean a Bank declines a Home Loan application because they see enquires as an unhealthy appetite for credit.
Rates. These are still being hotly contested in the marketplace with Banks competing for quality business by offering discounted rates and ‘incentives’. We have great relationship with all of the major players and often get better deals for customers then the customer can by going direct. One customer recently was declined by his own Bank so came to me. I not only got a deal with his own Bank but a discounted rate and $1000 cash back too. His review on TradeMe says it all.
Future rates. I watch these very carefully and agree with the leading economists of most Banks. Nothing is going to change in the next 12 months. So my advice is, if you can, float part of your mortgage and over pay as much as possible to reduce the debt quickly. Be aware though that if your mortgage is with ANZ or National you need to make sure they don’t treat your overpayment as an agreement to always overpay.
Criteria. All Banks have loosened up, with ASB probably the most aggressive in terms of low Lenders Mortgage Insurance for 85%+ loans (Kiwibank are the most expensive!) and now Apartments and Lifestyle blocks are treated the same as standalone houses.
Lo Doc mortgages (no true proof of income) hit the headlines in The Herald recently and I was quoted in the article too. These are only available to Self Employed people and we are seeing a rise in enquiries, minimum trading 12 months and maximum 75% lending means both Bank and customer are safe.
The next 12 months. We see continued growth in sales and a rise in prices. Continued low rates help a lot but a word of caution is it won’t last forever so making sure the mortgage can be paid in the event of loss of income or rise in rate is important.
Coastguard. I am an active member of Coastguard and as spring approaches ask that when going on the water please check the boat and equipment, wear a life jacket and call in a trip report to Coastguard. Annual membership is under $100 and gives free callouts. Non members (Coastguard is a Charity) and at $280 an hour, can be costly. I’ve towed many a boat simply because of lack or fuel or single battery drained by too many toys At $280 an hour it’s an expensive error!
For any Mortgage or Finance needs just let us know what you want and we’ll do everything we can to make it happen. 0508 453633 is the number you need.
Thank you for reading this, pass it on to mates if you think they might benefit too.