PropertyGuru has launched a suite of seven digital tools to provide property seekers and owners with a user-friendly and transparent way to navigate around home loans. These include two comparison tools to determine the optimum loan and refinancing options, collectively known as the Mortgage Marketplace, and also affordability tools and reports for property-seekers to find out their maximum property affordability. With the new tools, PropertyGuru is the first property search portal to integrate property and financing search for property seekers onto one single platform.
Before 2013, a typical property purchase process in Singapore takes six to nine months. Property seekers would check for home loan options while they search for their new home concurrently before finally securing their preferred home loan. This home loan search-and-secure process used to take four months. In 2013, several cooling measures such as the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) were implemented to control over-borrowing and up to this day, the cooling measures have understandably caused confusion for potential mortgagees. As a result, the property purchase and home loan search-and-secure processes for property seekers have lengthened.
With the easy-to-use interface of the Mortgage Marketplace, property seekers can find their most suitable home loans quickly and accurately. Similarly, property owners who are currently servicing existing home loans are presented with a wide range of refinancing options – enabling them to compare and select the loan packages that offer the most savings.
The Mortgage Marketplace is supported by a comprehensive listing of more than 100 home loan packages from 14 banks and financial institutions. It is further accompanied by bite-sized property guides on key topics such as prevailing government regulations and loan regulations. Property seekers no longer need to spend time browsing different websites for information on loans and regulatory terms such as Singapore Interbank Offered Rate (SIBOR), Additional Buyer's Stamp Duty (ABSD) and TDSR.
Additionally, the Mortgage Marketplace increases transparency in home loan affordability by offering property seekers an option to compare home loan repayments in the first year, or over the first four years of the loan. This enables the property seeker to have full understanding of their loan repayment commitments beyond any introductory rates or promotional lock-in periods.
The suite of new tools includes an affordability calculator. The Affordability Calculator creates an Affordability report to help property seekers find the dream home based on their financial profile. It takes into account key home loan restrictions such as Loan-to-Value ratio (LTV), TDSR, Mortgage Service ratio (MSR), and cash downpayment limits to calculate the maximum value of the property a user can afford. Complimentary tools enable quick comparisons between mortgage payments when financing or refinancing home loans and provide detailed breakdowns of property seeker’s TDSR and MSR, and stamp duty commitments.
“We pride ourselves in being not only a first mover in the property search scene but also a champion of consumer insight. With a single platform, property seekers now have a user-friendly way to access information to help them navigate complex property regulations like TDSR and MSR, and as well as the changing property prices and home loans.
“The concept of a mortgage marketplace was formed through our continued innovation to create tools that meet customers’ needs and empower them make better property decisions. Our strong position in the property search market and as a direct channel to property seekers won us the support of financial institutions in Singapore who have listed their loan information with us. We encourage property seekers to make full use of the Mortgage Marketplace and the other digital tools as they search for their dream home,” said Mr Lewis Ng, Managing Director for Singapore, PropertyGuru.