Dec 8, 2009

Hong Leong Finance woos bungalow buyers

By Joyce Teo

BUYERS looking for a grand landed home with sprawling grounds in central Singapore can now take up a special package from Hong Leong Finance.

It is the latest marketing move by lenders trying to woo clients in the fiercely competitive mortgage market.

Hong Leong is aiming for those in a tiny niche who can afford such homes - called good class bungalows - that routinely cost more than $15 million.

It is offering a special package starting from 1.38 per cent a year on a variable basis. The variable rate goes up to 1.48 per cent for the second year and 2.48 per cent for the third, it said yesterday.

'With recent renewed interest in the good class bungalow market, it is only natural for Hong Leong Finance to expand its suite of services,' said president Ian Macdonald.

These bungalows must have a plot size of at least 1,400 sq m and are found only in the 39 areas zoned for them.

They form a highly exclusive market - there are only about 2,400 such bungalows here.

To entice customers, Hong Leong is throwing in $1,000 worth of food and beverage vouchers at Millennium and Copthorne Hotels in Singapore with a minimum loan value of $3 million.

Customers taking up loans of $10 million or more can get vouchers worth $5,000.

And all customers will get a 20 per cent discount at M Hotel dining outlets and a guest card for Haach Spa and $500 worth of spa vouchers.

Lenders are getting ever more creative with perks for clients.

An earlier Hong Leong promotion included offering home loan clients KrisFlyer air miles. And Standard Chartered recently launched an instant approval-in-principle service aimed at showflat visitors.