PropertyGuru, announced on 12 March its expansion into home finance with the launch of its mortgage marketplace, ‘PropertyGuru Finance’.
Through this venture, PropertyGuru aims to assist Singaporeans in saving money on their home loans in the long term, as well as simplify their home buying journey. PropertyGuru Finance will offer competitive mortgage rates, digital tools that will help property buyers make smart financing decisions, and independent, personalized advisory for better long-term benefits.
While Singapore is one of the most property savvy markets in Southeast Asia, the ‘PropertyGuru Consumer Sentiment Study H1 2020’ highlights that while 70 percent of Singaporeans will ‘start saving before looking for a home to buy’, only 18 percent are ‘very familiar with the home loan process’. The complexity of the mortgage process is further reflected in the knowledge gaps revealed in the study:
- Almost 50% of home buyers are not familiar with the paperwork that is required to apply for a home loan
- 2 in 5 Singaporeans are not aware that they can refinance their home loan and save on monthly costs, more so among lower income groups
- 30% of home buyers believe that online tools such as an Affordability Calculator would assist, but admit that they have never actually used one
Announcing the launch, Bjorn Sprengers, Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Fintech at PropertyGuru, said, “Over the years, we have learnt that the excitement of finding one’s dream home, is often lost when it comes to financing it. The mortgage journey is full of uncertainty, doubt and inefficiency. More often than not, the process leads people to paying more than they should. Its complexity may even cost them the opportunity to own their dream home.” He then expressed his company’s responsibility to resolve these pain points using technology.
PropertyGuru’s entry into home finance is a key milestone in the company’s strategic evolution from a property marketplace to becoming a ‘trust platform’ in Southeast Asia. Bjorn Sprengers adds, “. Our vision is to integrate property search and financing into a seamless digitally intuitive experience for property seekers. This vision encompasses PropertyGuru’s own platform and solutions as well as the broader ecosystem including banks, regulators and other stakeholders.”
“Our aspiration is to enable Singapore’s first digital straight-through mortgage application by 2022 and the first fully digital property transaction by 2025,’ he concluded.
Working with relevant industry stakeholders, the company will offer digital home financing services such as instant in-principle approval, instant offers, refinance checks, to enable property buyers to consume home financing services conveniently, securely and instantly online.
Paul Wee, Managing Director of Fintech, explains, “PropertyGuru’s technology allows us to uniquely offer a range of smart tools for every step of the home finance journey, from understanding loan eligibility and comparing loans to easily applying for multiple loans online.”
“We use PropertyGuru’s proprietary data to constantly monitor home valuations and interest rates to help property owners optimally time moments of refinance and enjoy full benefit from capital gains.’’