29 August 2012

Westpac launches New Zealand first for homebuyers – www.homeclub.co.nz

Westpac has launched New Zealand’s most comprehensive online tool for Kiwi home buyers – www.homeclub.co.nz.

HomeClub is the first online resource of its type in New Zealand. It allows users to collect, compare and store properties they are interested in, and provides valuable information like QV valuations, comparative sales, multiple views of the location with Google maps, mortgage calculators and easy contact with Westpac loan specialists.

General Manager Retail Bank Gai McGrath says HomeClub is an example of utilising technology to make life easier and simpler for Kiwis.

“It’s the way we are evolving, using technology to add value for our customers beyond the traditional services. HomeClub is a New Zealand first, and soon Kiwis will be able to select and get pre-approval within Homeclub.”

McGrath says more than 80 percent of New Zealanders* search for property online, and over the past two years Westpac has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of home loan enquiries coming via its website.

“New Zealanders have moved on from the more traditional method of acquiring key information from scouring property magazines, beating the feet around open homes, spending time sourcing land valuations and other information before going about the purchase process. Using HomeClub, this can be achieved in just a few clicks.”

HomeClub builds on Westpac’s existing relationship with TradeMe, and allows users to directly import their TradeMe property watchlist into their HomeClub profile.

 McGrath says users like the fact HomeClub allows them to quickly sort through and narrow down to properties they can actually afford.

“Owning their own home has long been a priority for Kiwis but the process can often be a test of stamina. HomeClub can help smooth the process considerably. By building a unique and comprehensive online hub where users can access and collect key information they need in one place as they assess the viability of a property will save time and stress,” Ms McGrath said.

She says HomeClub taps into the Kiwi property obsession and will have broader appeal than just for those actively house hunting.

“Even if people aren’t necessarily looking at buying right now, HomeClub will be just as useful for keeping up with the Joneses, seeing how their current property compares to others on the market in the same area, or looking to see what their next move might be.”

HomeClub.co.nz is free, open to all New Zealanders, and capability will continue to be added to the site.

ENDS

FACT BOX

-          Interact with your favourite properties on trademe.co.nz and import your watchlist

-          Get free QV valuations to make an informed offer

-          Save your favourite houses to your HomeClub watchlist

-          View detailed comparable sales of similar houses in the area

-          Get automatic mortgage calculations on properties of interest

-          Receive expert help from Westpac every step of the way

* The Nielsen Real Estate Market Report