Archive | Ownership

Kiwibank launches app for homebuyers

Kiwibank launched a free Home Hunter app for phones & computers yesterday, which chief executive Paul Brock said would change the way people look for & buy homes.

Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock at yesterday’s app launch.

Kiwibank chief executive Paul Brock at yesterday’s app launch.

Mr Brock said the application, available on smartphone, tablet or desktop, was an industry first and would allow users to seek pre-approval for a home loan within 10 minutes of starting to log in details, and then go house hunting armed with all the information needed – from a single source.

“Kiwibank Home Hunter will tell users which houses match their pre-approval, and will provide registered values, comparable house sales & estimated sale prices. It will even calculate the number of sunshine hours a property gets.

“The end-to-end process of securing pre-approval could be done before you’ve finished your morning coffee. In a competitive housing market, where many people are finding it harder than ever to fulfil the Kiwi dream of owning their own home, we hope Kiwibank Home Hunter will make it a little bit easier.

“The process of obtaining financing can be daunting, especially for first-homebuyers. The Home Hunter app puts the power back into the hands of consumers, arming them with more information going into the buying process.

“Banks have a lot of data which they use in the credit process. We’re saying, put it in the customer’s hands. It’s live data, constantly updated.”

The app was designed in-house by 2 members of Kiwibank’s online channels team, Peter Fletcher-Dobson & Anand Ranchard, and worked on over the last 12 months by Sush Global Solutions Ltd (Sulabh Sharma & Sheenu Chawla).

In a demonstration yesterday, Mr Ranchard took 2 minutes 34 seconds to find suitable properties nearby within his chosen price range. Mr Fletcher-Dobson said the app would provide real estate agency information, including open home times, and would show whether the bank had pre-approved the property as well as the customer.

“As well as turning home-buying on its head, we think we’ll also turn open homes on their head,” he said.

Mr Brock said coming up with the app “started as a garage project, a couple of guys challenging each other on how would you revolutionise the market.”

They’ve opened a Facebook page seeking reaction from users.

Attribution: Demonstration & release.

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Research paper on trusts shows home ownership level understated

Published 30 July 2006


The latest Reserve Bank discussion paper shows about one-fifth of household assets are held in trusts and this has had the effect of lowering census measures of home ownership.



The paper looks at family trusts: who owns them, what they contain & how trusts affect measurements of wealth, income & home ownership.


It was produced by Phil Briggs, of the bank’s issues team, which monitors the international economy and also undertakes research on domestic economic issues. He joined the bank in 2003 and was previously at NZIER (the NZ Institute of Economic Research), where he worked on economic forecasting & consulting projects.


Mr Briggs re-examined data in Statistics NZ’s 2001 household savings survey, which found that:

about 4% of individuals & 12% of couples had trusts
total holdings of trusts were $93 billion – around 19% of all household assets, and
the average amount held by a trust was $707,900, compared to an average $243,600 held by a household.

In the research, survey data & data on the number of tax returns from private trusts was used to adjust figures on home ownership from the census. The adjusted numbers show that if trust dwellings are viewed as being owned, the home ownership rate in 2001 would have been closer to 70% rather than 68%, as shown by the census. Nevertheless, adjusted ownership rates still declined between 1991-2001, although not quite as sharply as the unadjusted rates.


Mr Briggs found trust-owning couples with low incomes tended to have high trust holdings. “One possible reason for this was that people in this low-income group were retired & not earning, but their trusts had accumulated significant assets. Another possibility was that people in this group were those whose incomes are going to the trusts, rather than being received directly.”


The paper concluded that trusts substantially affect measures of wealth in surveys such as the household savings survey. They could also affect reported income in such surveys, as well as affecting home ownership rates.


Websites: Reserve Bank discussion papers


Family trusts paper pdf


 


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Attribution: Reserve Bank release, story written by Bob Dey for this website.

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