New bank tool simplifies home-buying process

imagesWednesday, 07 October 2015

Westpac has made it easier for property owners to discover and then exploit the equity in their homes.

The bank has launched a new offering called Wonder, an online banking feature that allows customers to see the amount of equity in their property.

Together with Corelogic RP Data, Wonder also allows users to calculate the affordability of properties within a suburb based on their personalised financial profile, Westpac home loan rates, fees, stamp duty and other expenses.

Eligible customers can receive approval in principle for a new home loan online at any time of day. They can also apply for a home loan increase without visiting a branch.

Westpac research found that 56 per cent of home owners want to know the value of their property and 43 per cent want to know what they can afford to borrow.

The research also found that 51 per cent of mortgagees don’t know the amount of equity in their property.

Westpac spokesperson Melanie Evans said it is the first Australian bank to offer customers personalised home loan options in real-time based on their financial profile.

“Eligible Westpac customers will be provided with personalised options to unlock the possibilities in their property, to upgrade, renovate or purchase another property,” she said.

“For example, a couple who are looking for a bigger property to accommodate a growing family can view the amount of equity they have in their current home loan, and Wonder will suggest options for properties they could afford based on their pre-determined property preferences and financial situation.”

Wonder will be progressively rolled out to eligible customers between now and January.