Avanti makes major home loan changes

Avanti Finance, the non-bank lender backed by Westpac, has made a number of changes to its home loan offering as it seeks to gain market share from New Zealand’s big banks.

The finance company, which also provides car and home loans, insurance and debt consolidation, has introduced a number of new features on its mortgage offering.

These include lifting low-doc loan values to $1 million, and raising apartment lending to $1 million, according to Stephen Massey, head of sales at the lender.

Avanti has also increased its second mortgage offering to higher levels for customers with a strong equity position.

Massey said the changes were part of the non-bank’s efforts to gain market share with a “gap in the market” left by major lenders, as they came to grips with LVR restrictions and regulatory pressure. The push for new business will continue to be backed by Westpac and the company’s own equity, Massey said.

Avanti will continue to focus on owner-occupier customers in need of alternative financing due to their personal circumstances, such as self-employed people, or those looking for equity release.

Massey added: “We have seen more gaps left by the banks and though we can’t solve all of those, we look at them and see if it is a fit for us. If we can fill a gap we will look to help.”

Avanti’s changes come as non-bank lenders continue to grow in prominence in the New Zealand market, after falling away from the market after the GFC. RESIMAC has seen record volumes so far this year, Blackwell Global announced a new funding line in February, while Bluestone Asia Pacific, backed by private equity fund Cerberus, is also looking to take share in the New Zealand market.

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