Heartland digital home loan set to stay

Heartland Bank is "comfortable" for its digital mortgage product to continue running, after approving more than $300 million in loans. 

Tuesday, February 23rd 2021, 6:21AM

The bank receives about 11,000 webpage visits each week for the home loan, which offers market leading one year rates at 1.99% and a competitive two year rate at 2.35%.

Heartland has approved over $300 million since its launch last year.

Chris Flood, Heartland CEO, said a lot of potential customers had lost out on auctions, and not confirmed their loans.

"Drawdowns have been modest," Flood said. "A lot of people are leaving auctions disappointed in the current environment ... we're working on our conversion ratio from approval to settlement."

Flood said he expected demand to continue as people finished their fixed terms with other banks.

He confirmed the direct-only digital home loan would keep running and the bank was not yet near its cap for the product.

"We're delighted with the things we've learned and we've made changes to our platform. But directionally, we're happy," he said.

Flood spoke with TMM Online as the bank reported its accounts for the half-year to December. 

Home loan receivables jumped by $7 million to $7.6 million. An amount of $303 million was approved in the six month period, while $16.6 million has been drawn down.

Elsewhere in the business, reverse mortgage receivables jumped by 5.9% in New Zealand, and 10.6% in Australia. 

Flood said advisers continued to account for a "small portion" of reverse mortgage referrals, but predicted the product would become more popular as equity values in NZ continue to soar.

He added equity release products had proven "remarkably resilient" amid rising house prices, adding the market was helped by house price inflation despite the weak economy. 

Tags: digital lending equity release Heartland Lending reverse mortgages

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