Wizard Network Expands South
New Zealand’s leading non-bank lender, Wizard Home Loans, continued its rapid expansion in New Zealand with the opening of its Dunedin branch last week.
Now with eleven branches nationwide Wizard Home Loans is closer to reaching its target of opening 14 branches in its first two years in the New Zealand market.
At present there are six branches in Auckland and one each in Hamilton, Palmerston North, Napier Christchurch and Dunedin, with new offices planned for Tauranga, Wellington and the Hutt Valley.
Executive Chairman Mark Bouris says the aggressive branch rollout in New Zealand parallels Wizard’s fast-track development in Australia where it opened its first branch in January, 1998, and now has 125 branches in four states.
“Wizard’s rapid growth has come from delivering truly low-cost lending with minimal fees and charges and the lowest interest rates in the market,” says Mr Bouris.
Wizard Home Loans is not a mortgage broker, but a ‘mortgage originator’ – it creates its own Wizard-branded loan products financed by its mortgage securitisation company.
New Zealand’s new Dunedin branch will service the Otago and Southland regions. Branch owner, David Mitchell says its opening comes at a time when the property market in central Otago is booming.
“There’s a proliferation of new subdivisions and the demand for quality houses is exceeding supply. Wizard’s competitive interest rates and personal service will be attractive for many new buyers as well as those refinancing existing homes,” he says.
Mr Bouris said that although the non-bank sector was less developed in New Zealand than in Australia, it was making inroads. Signs that the banks were improving service reflected the impact of non-bank lenders and greater competition.
Wizard Home Loans is Australia’s seventh-largest writer of new mortgages in Australia, writing about four per cent of home mortgage business in that market. It is backed by Kerry Packer’s PBL Group along with international investors managed by Deutsche Asset Management. Wizard has twice been voted the Best Non-Bank Financial Institution by Australian Banking and Finance Magazine.