MortgageSA acquisition entrenches leadership position

MortgageSA, South Africa's largest bond originator, has acquired 100% of LoanLink for an undisclosed amount. LoanLink is the fourth largest bond originator in the country, and originates in excess of a billion Rand in home loans each month. LoanLink operates a franchise bond origination model under its established Wizard and Quantro Home Loans brands. The acquisition represents the largest transaction to date in the bond origination market.

MortgageSA's Chief Executive Officer, Saul Geffen, said that "the LoanLink acquisition enhanced MortgageSA's strategic positioning in the bond origination market and increased distribution. MortgageSA is well positioned to add significantly to the value of the LoanLink businesses."

"Acquiring the industry's largest franchise operator provides the opportunity for MortgageSA to grow a franchise network, complementing MortgageSA?s existing wholly-owned model. The deal will also enable MortgageSA to leverage its national infrastructure and expertise in mortgage sales and processing to the benefit of both groups" continues Geffen.

LoanLink's Managing Director, Piet de Jongh, said that "synergies and knowledge sharing will dramatically enhance the prospects of the LoanLink Group, its franchised brands and, importantly, the service experience of the consumer. Both the Wizard and Quantro networks are committed to service excellence."

LoanLink will continue to operate its franchise operation independently under the Wizard and Quantro brands. LoanLink's existing management is being retained in order to provide continuity and independent operation.

Hello ooba news

ooba (formerly MortgageSA) welcomed the 0.5% interest rate cut announced yesterday by the South African Reserve Bank which will save South African home owners an estimated R259m in home loan repayments each month, but says more cuts are needed.

According to a new poll by South Africa's leading property listings website, nearly a third of home hunters decide that a property is right for them before they even enter the house - and a kitchen is overwhelmingly the most important room when it comes to the buying decision.

Propertygenie.co.za has entered into a partnership with fractionalownership.co.za to provide access to the latest fractional ownership listings which will be available from the 12 December, 2008.

South Africans spent over R10 billion during the festive season last year. This year ooba suggests carefully planning your holiday season spending to avoid a financial hangover in January 2009. "Festive season debt can take months to pay off in the new year," says Jenny Rushin, Provincial Sales Manager for ooba (formerly MortgageSA).

Weak economic conditions, higher interest rates and the global credit crisis have forced banks to be far more picky about who they will lend money and less generous with their lending rates. But Mary Jane Lefevre, Regional Sales Manager of ooba, said that before you apply for a home loan, there are steps you can take to improve your credit status and encourage lenders to look more favourably on your application.