NAB first mover in co-ownership housing platform

National Australia Bank has been selected by startup business Kohab as a partner its co-ownership platform.

Launched on Monday, the digital platform provides a marketplace for friends, family and like-minded buyers to purchase a home together. The marketplace connects property, real estate agents, legal, mortgage and insurance providers in one place.

Kohab chief executive and founder David Dawson said NAB’s philosophy around first home buyers was consistent with the objectives of the platform.

“We looked at all the banks and what they were doing. NAB’s strong on its charter of getting more Australians into homes. They were a first-mover in embracing what we did,” Dawson said.

Under the partnership, NAB will launch a co-lending product. The product will apply the lending criteria outlined in the platform’s co-ownership agreement.

Dawson said this standardised agreement will give better transparency and security in buying and selling property under a co-ownership relationship.  

The co-lending product will also hold each party responsible for their part of the loan only.

This means individuals do not have to guarantee their co-buyers mortgage repayments and if buying one half or one quarter of the property, their deposit and repayments are based only on that percentage of the ownership.

A tinder for real estate

According to Dawson, Commonwealth Bank will be rolling out a similar product and he expects Westpac, ANZ and Macquarie to follow suit once they look at changing their credit policies.

“Obviously all the banks provide mortgages, but we needed a product that supported co-ownership,” he said.  

Mortgage insurance is provided in the case of one party defaulting on the loan.

Former New South Wales Premier Mike Baird and now chief customer officer at NAB said the initiative was like a “Tinder for real estate”.

While Baird was not at the launch, NAB general manager of the retail bank, Paul Juergens said the bank was committed to supporting first home buyers and expects to see more innovation in this area.

“We are the enablers to help people purchase property. This will only accelerate and with that comes innovative solutions,” Juergens said.

In terms of the platform, Kohab will help potential buyers in three main ways: by co-living – where one or both parties choose to live in the property; co-investing in property and thirdly co-lifestyle – facilitating two or more parties to share a holiday home or second home.

The platform also expects to launch a product soon that will allow existing property owners to unlock equity and sell a portion of their property, which may appeal to existing investors or an older demographic.

Dawson echoed industry views on the concept of shared ownership products fitting well within the shared economy of the future.

“The phenomenal growth of brands such as Uber and Airbnb have clearly demonstrated that the share economy is alive and thriving,” he said.

“These types of concepts have created a seismic shift in how society views co-sharing in general. As such Kohab aspires to be the global platform and marketplace for property co-ownership.”

National research commissioned by Kohab in February with over 1,700 people found that 27 per cent of Australians would consider buying a property with someone else.

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