Rebecca Pike| Australian Broker| 25 October 2018
Brokers made up 60% of new lending at state government-backed HomeStart over the last financial year.
As an ‘integral and growing contributor’, the broker channel increased from 54% of loans settled last year, with 988 new loans worth $302million this year.
Overall, the non-bank helped 1779 people into new homes with a total lending of $510m, up from the previous year at 1674 new housing loans worth $432m.
Almost 90% of borrowers through the South Australian group were unable to get finance through a mainstream bank in the last financial year.
While the figure is not surprising for a lender which prides itself on helping borrowers with no other way into homes, the rise in borrowers shows the effect of tightened credit conditions.
Chairman Jim Kouts said a raft of milestones and achievements for the group showed the ongoing importance of HomeStart to the state’s economy, community and its customers.
HomeStart has a specialised product to help graduates by their first home. Graduate Loan settlements grew by 41% in the last financial year, with 774 loans settled. The loan sits at $1.2billion since its launch in 2002.
“We’re proud and privileged to be helping more South Australians achieve home ownership,’’ Kouts said.
“Many of our customers have a qualification behind them and are valuable contributors to our economy and communities, they just need a start.”
Construction lending also grew during the period and represented 23.5% of total new lending by numbers and close to 15.5% market share of first home buyers in the construction sector.
There were 418 construction loans approved by HomeStart in 2017-18, representing $135m of lending and an increase on the 254 loans of this type approved two years ago.
The group also celebrated its award last month at the Australian HR Awards, where it won Employer of Choice (Public Sector and Not For Profit).
HomeStart chief executive officer John Oliver said, “Our people are the most important asset of our organisation.
“They provide the passion, inspiration, vision and commitment needed to continue to challenge how, as an organisation, we can truly work towards achieving our reason for being.
“We invest in helping develop and grow our employees both in terms of their technical skills and knowledge, but perhaps more importantly, their leadership skills and understanding of self which enables them to bring the best of themselves to work every day.”