Borrowers in the pound seats as bank battle restarts

“This month’s decision by major lender Absa to once again start accepting applications for 100% loans from mortgage originators is, we believe, just the first salvo in the renewed battle,” says Lew Geffen, chairman of Sotheby’s International Realty in SA.

“The move will no doubt prompt counter-measures from the other banks anxious to retain and gain top quality clients, and shrewd consumers will be the real winners.”

There will no doubt be many people, he says, who believe this scenario is wishful thinking on his part, “but even now, most lenders are already offering bonds of up to 100% to their own existing clients in good standing – and bonds of 90% on average to new clients - despite their stated determination just a few months ago to insist that every potential borrower pay a sizeable deposit.

“What is more, I am not suggesting that the banks will immediately relax their lending criteria. Bond applicants will still need to have excellent credit records, low debt loads and good employment prospects in order to be approved – just now perhaps they won’t need to have such a large sum of cash on hand to pay a deposit and cover transfer costs.”

Geffen says that in due course – and if inflation tails down later this year as expected - the banks will probably also become more negotiable once again on interest rates.

“Meanwhile, bond applicants can at the very least expect higher levels of service and faster response times, as banks increasingly relearn that home loan borrowers are very often the most loyal consumers of their other, very profitable, banking products and services – and not just a high-risk nuisance as they have often been viewed in recent years.”

From an industry point of view, he says, the results of this shift in attitude will be an increase in the number of loans granted, and a decrease in the number of “repeat” sales for estate agents. “Indeed, originators are already reporting an increase in volumes of loans being approved over the past few weeks, and that will inexorably lead to surplus stock being absorbed and home prices starting to show real increases. In short, it will open the way to the proper recovery of the market over the next two to three years.”

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
    • 21 Nov 2017
      As more and more South Africans look to invest in property abroad, Spain is offering them one of the best deals in global real estate.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Since 2012, sectional title complexes have been leading the South African property market, not only in terms of price growth, but sales volumes as well. Remaining relatively strong, even in the face of 2017’s political and economic turmoil, experts say this market segment could offer valuable insight into South Africans’ property purchase priorities.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Regardless of whether you are purchasing your first start-up home, downsizing or moving in with roommates, finding ways to maximise small spaces can be a big advantage, says Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa.
    • 20 Nov 2017
      Property valued at approximately R1 billion is on High Street Auctions’ sales floor during the month of November, including the much-anticipated sale of the Tshwane Mayoral Residence and the land occupied by one of South Africa’s oldest operating gold mines.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us