Uptick in bond applications

Johannesburg - SA's leading bond originator‚ ooba‚ says it has recorded significant growth in home loan applications and approved loans in May‚ a sign that there are still pockets of growth in demand among households.

The growth was also affirmation that first-time home buyers were active and that lending conditions by finance institutions were easing slightly‚ according to ooba CEO Saul Geffen.

The company's latest statistics revealed that the rand value of ooba's home loan approvals showed a year-on-year increase of 50% during May.

Geffen said that this was the best monthly performance recorded since April 2008.

"The consistent increase in applications and approvals over the past months is a positive indicator for the property market.

"There seems to be a marked increase in consumer sentiment and appetite for residential property and this has been underpinned by improved access to finance‚" Geffen said.

Ooba noted May's approvals were 221% up on ooba's lowest approved loans month‚ being January 2009‚ but still only 32% of its peak month in May 2007.

Other figures showed that the value of ooba's applications in May was 20% higher than the same period last year‚ and 36% higher than April 2012.

The number of people applying for home loans was increasing‚ Geffen said‚ but added that this was being outpaced by the value of home loans approved given improved lending conditions and increased bank competition.

Geffen said that in comparison to the company’s historical best month‚ May 2007‚ applications were 45% of peak levels.

 
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