12 Jul 2013

NZ Home Loans aims to increase Auckland business

7:00 am on 12 July 2013

New Zealand Home Loans, a tiny mortgage company, is pinning its growth plans on the booming Auckland and Christchurch property markets.

The company, which Kiwibank bought a year ago, sells mortgages from Kiwibank and Sovereign, and its $4 billion loan book, gives it about 1.5% of the total mortgage market.

NZ Home Loans offers a revolving credit mortgage, which is structured to minimise interest costs.

But unlike revolving mortgages, clients are not able to draw down the portion of the mortgage that's already been paid off.

Chief executive Mark Collins said this structure, plus a special online budgeting tool, and ongoing support, has resulted in their clients saving nearly $24 million in the last year, compared to a traditional mortgage.

While they only offer mid-market mortgage rates, he said their clients, on average, pay off their loans up to 10 years earlier.

Mr Collins said the company spends up to two hours with people who are seeking a loan.

"Because we really want to understand where you're going and what your milestones are, what's your budget, where are you spending it, how are you spending it and then we build a plan with our clients."

Mr Collins said customers are then shown how to use software which allows them to monitor that plan at any given time and the company also has regular reviews with them.

He said Auckland makes up about 40% of its business, but he hopes that will increase to half, in a year.