Banks doing more to reach out to potential home-buyers

More potential home-buyers are coming forward to get in-principle approval for loans, even before committing to property purchases.

Industry players say this has been the trend since the Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR) framework was introduced in June this year.

Banks are now doing more to help ease the demands on potential home buyers and give them peace of mind during their house hunt.

For example, DBS has developed a smartphone application, the DBS Home Connect — a pocket-sized property guide designed to help consumers do their research on the property market.

Besides calculating downpayment requirements and monthly mortgage repayments, the app can bring potential buyers on a virtual street tour of a selected area, and enable them to check out past transaction prices.

Linda Lee, senior vice president and head, of mortgage at Consumer Banking Group, said: “So in the Home Connect itself, they provide a lot of information that customers will find useful — especially in a time where there are different regulations that will affect different buying individuals.”

Besides DBS, other banks have also beefed up their assistance schemes for potential home buyers.

All these aim to help ease the demands on potential home buyers while searching for their perfect home.

At OCBC, the focus has been on maintaining that human touch.

The bank says the role of its Mortgage Specialists in providing advisory has become even more important as more new regulations are introduced.

An OCBC spokesman says that in addition to advising customers, they are able to perform an evaluation and confirm an in-principle approval for a loan quantum, subject to full details and satisfactory credit checks at a later stage.

Using OCBC’s in-house TDSR tool, prospective buyers are able to find out how much they can borrow in just half an hour.

Meanwhile, loan advisory firm has seen a 30 per cent increase in enquiries of home buyers — about half of whom do not have immediate plans to buy a property. provides services to individuals pertaining to loans, such as aggregating information from multiple banks, getting accurate projections of monthly and interest payments and getting in touch with bankers who will help finance home buyers.

Timothy Kua, head of, said: “A lot of them are just extremely curious and extremely concerned about where they stand with respect to their income, their debt commitments, and how much they can actually loan from a bank.”

Banks have recently seen a decline in housing loan volumes.

In July and August this year, total market transactions for new and resale homes were more than 60 per cent lower than the average transactions last year.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 11 Oct 2013

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