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A different approach to home loans

Yedhvir Ramdhani

MAIN IMAGE: Yedhvir Ramdhani – Senior manager of strategy and analytics at Nedbank Home Loans.

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Senior manager of strategy and analytics at Nedbank Home Loans, Yedhvir Ramdhani, lifts the veil on what’s in store for the property market towards the latter half of 2024, talks solar and a new ‘water-shedding’ initiative, as well as sharing more about how the bank has increased ease of doing business.

Q: As the senior manager of strategy and analytics at Nedbank Home Loans, how would you describe your role?

It is a dynamic and exciting role that has me ‘bringing it all together’’ for our business, so to speak. My role involves managing relationships with our external business partners to ensure mutually beneficial partnerships, influencing internal stakeholders to drive our Sales growth aspirations, and always ensuring that our clients’ needs are met as a core focus. Simply put, the role sees me constantly analysing our market to craft what we sell, to whom we sell, and how we sell.

Q: You studied law; how did you become involved in home finance?

I initially studied law, majoring in criminal law, but never practised as I got into banking by chance after university in 2002. I have been at Nedbank in our Home Loans business since 2008, and prior to that at a competitor bank working in both their Home Loans and Vehicle Finance areas from 2002 -2008.

Q: There have been some big changes at Nedbank Home Loans recently. What has prompted this?

We have been keenly focused on growing our market share through responsible lending practices over the past 2 years and are starting to realise consistent month-on-month growth.

We decided to engage with both our clients and our business partners a few years back to gain their insights into how they needed us as a bank to service them. As such, this turnaround has been fuelled by a revamp of our client value propositions as we have listened to our clients and structured our offerings to address their unique pain points, and we have been on a journey of continuous innovation to also enable ease of doing business with us for both our clients and business partners. This innovation drive is both tech-enabled and supported by streamlining our internal processes and requirements.

Q: Nedbank is one of the leaders in providing rooftop solar solutions. Can you discuss how this began and how your offering has grown?

Nedbank has always positioned itself as the market’s most environmentally-conscious “green” bank, and we decided to leverage this positioning in Home Loans via our rooftop solar solutions in support of the bank’s greater strategy.

Renewable energy solutions are more relevant now than ever before in our country, especially considering the unstable power supply and issues with the supply of potable water. Together with Nedbank AVO, we continue to explore industry-leading renewable energy solutions and have expanded our established solar offerings to cater for all client needs across the spectrum, from cost-effective backup solutions to more comprehensive off-the-grid solutions.

I am also very excited to announce that Nedbank AVO has just launched a ‘water-shedding’ solution that ensures both residential homes and industrial water needs are catered for.

Q: What is Nedbank Home Loans doing to streamline its services?

We are continually reviewing our market offerings and have recently launched multiple enhancements to our product suite and also streamlined our process requirements. Some highlights are:

Promoting the ease of doing business

  • We offer up to 109% for first-time homebuyers
  • We offer 30-year (360-month) home loan terms to qualifying clients.
  • We have extended the maximum client age at the end of the bond term from 70 to 75 for qualifying clients.
  • We have increased the maximum loan amount for a 100% loan to value (LTV) from R5 million to R7,5 million for qualifying clients.
  • We will indicate the bond term you would like upfront on all home loan applications. (This means that you no longer need to file a formal appeal for a 30-year bond term after we have approved your application)

Upfront Verification

  • Verification review will be concluded after an Approval in Principle, prior to the conclusion of valuation.

OTP relaxation

  • An application process will commence even if the OTP (Offer to Purchase) is not fully completed or signed.

Attorney Discount Campaign

  • Up to 50% Discount on Registration Fees pre-negotiated with selected attorneys on the Nedbank panel.

One Attorney Campaign

  •  Pre-approved attorneys on Nedbank panel to attend to both Transfer & Registration of Home Loans, improving client experience – client signing documents at one attorney.

Capitalisation of Initiation Fees: (included in loan amount)

  • Applicants have the option to include the initiation fee in the total Home Loan amount, including 100% loan-to-value approvals.

Q:  We all know the residential property market is strained at the moment. Can you give any insight from Nedbank’s perspective?

The residential housing market has slowed over the past 2 years from an activity perspective, post the unprecedented spike in activity during the Covid pandemic.

Consumers are strained due to the worsening macro environment from 2022 to date, and we have decided that the best approach is to remain consistent through the cycle in terms of our lending policies and risk appetite. We firmly believe that it is counter-productive to unnecessarily tighten policy and criteria during tough times, and we currently employ a more balanced approach so that we can still provide tailored lending solutions to meet market demand in a responsible manner.

Q: What do you predict for the property market going into the latter half of the year, post-election?

The formation of the Government of National Unity is a great outcome for our country, and I believe our industry as well. We expect foreign and domestic investment to ramp up in the future and are also expecting a 50bps repo rate reduction by the MPC in H2 this year, probably split into two 25bps reductions. The market desperately needs some respite from the high repo rate and the expected cuts will go a long way in stimulating market activity and improving consumer confidence.

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