The bank said reserve mortgage growth was driven by investment in marketing, lower interest rates and higher property prices
New Zealand’s Heartland Bank saw its reverse mortgage business grow by 30% last year as more advisers turned their clients onto equity release products.
The year to June 2021 was a record year for Heartland’s equity release business, which was up 30.4% on the previous year.
Net operating income from NZ reverse mortgages increased to $24.4 million, while receivables rose by $41.6 million to $601.5 million.
Reporting its latest set of annual results, Heartland said reserve mortgage growth was driven by investment in marketing to increase awareness, education and lead nurturing activity, lower interest rates and higher property prices.
Heartland Bank was created in 2011 through the merging of four financial organisations.
Chief executive Chris Flood said an increased level of enquiries through mortgage brokers helped to fuel growth.
He said the rise in broker business reflected an increasing awareness of reverse mortgages, and acceptance of their use to help older home owners live a more comfortable retirement.
Reverse mortgage products allow customers to release equity in their home in the form of a loan, which is paid back to the bank when the house is sold or the last occupant has left the home.
The products are more popular across the Tasman, but have become increasingly popular in New Zealand as house prices surge and homeowners look to unlock equity.
Heartland’s reverse mortgage receivables in Australia rose by $92.7 million to $1.07 billion, with NOI increasing to $36.2 million.
A series of partnerships with aggregators has boosted the bank’s Aussie book. Heartland partners with Australian Finance Group, Choice Aggregation and PLAN Australia on reverse mortgages.