The race among Singapore banks to go digital and capture more of the home loan market is hotting up.
United Overseas Bank (UOB) announced yesterday that it has teamed up with four property agencies - ERA Realty, Huttons Asia, OrangeTee & Tie and PropNex Realty - as well as online proptech company, SoReal Prop, to develop a range of digital tools to help home buyers.
A fortnight ago, DBS Bank launched the DBS Property Marketplace, billed as a one-stop shop where home buyers can browse listings and link up with utilities providers, as well as renovation, cleaning and moving services.
OCBC Bank in January rolled out the OCBC OneAdvisor Home portal to provide information such as property listings, policy details, rules and regulations to home buyers. It also uses data to compute an affordability price range for customers.
UOB said its fully digital home loan solution includes Singapore's first bank-backed digital instant valuation service - undertaken with CKS Property Consultants -a banker and buyer matching service and online instant home loan approval service.
On its bank-backed property valuation tool, UOB noted that current online loan valuations are estimates only and are not used for home loan applications as banks have their own panels of professional property valuers, so customers may find that the loan quantum for which they qualify falls below their initial estimate.
But UOB said its service offers customers a reliable property valuation that can be used for their home loan application.
The bank said its survey of recent and potential home buyers showed that 56 per cent expect their agents to provide an end-to-end home-buying service - from property searches through to completion of purchase.
Home buyers also thought that the purchasing process was too cumbersome, with too many forms to fill, for instance.
Ms Jacquelyn Tan, the bank's head of personal financial services Singapore, said: "As UOB finances more than 30 per cent of all new property sales in Singapore, we know that agents and home buyers want certainty and simplicity in the property transaction. This is why we worked with our real estate partners to design a digital home loan solution that would address pain points experienced by agents and home buyers, and would streamline the home buying process."
UOB's latest digital venture comes one week after it announced a partnership with a consortium of seven car distributors and online retail platform Carousell to offer a digital car-financing solution for more than 11 car brands.