a.s.r. operates in the residential mortgage market and provides mortgage loans for its own account and for external investors. The mortgage loans are issued by ASR Levensverzekering N.V.
Due to rapidly rising inflation, economic uncertainty and the energy crisis, a shift is taking place in the housing and mortgage market. Mortgage rates have risen sharply in a short space of time, increasing demand for shorter fixed-interest maturities. With the rise in interest rates, the number of people refinancing their mortgages has fallen and market volume is decreasing. By contrast, applications for refurbishing work and measures to improve sustainability are on the increase, partly as a result of the sharp increase in energy prices.
The housing market in the Netherlands is affected by the nitrogen controversy. In response to current trends and declining purchasing power, the housing market is cooling and house prices are expected to fall further. The number of houses sold has declined compared to last year.
a.s.r. positions itself as a sustainable and innovative player in the mortgage market. In addition to standard products (annuity, linear and interest-only), it offers specialised products:
WelThuis Startershypotheek: a tailor-made product for first-time buyers with a maximum term of 40 years.
DigiThuis mortgage: a product that uses source data, primarily designed for applicants who are refinancing existing mortgages or buyers moving up the housing ladder.
Verduurzamingshypotheek: a tailor-made product for sustainable home modifications.
WelThuis Levensrente mortgage: a tailor-made product for senior citizens, enabling them to release personal assets.
Mortgages are an attractive investment for a.s.r.’s own account but also for external investors. Geopolitical instability and associated interest rate volatility caused investors to adopt a wait-and-see attitude fairly early in this year. As a result, production has been revised downwards by 10% compared to 2021. The portfolio grew to €22.8 billion (2021: €19.8 billion).
a.s.r. won the Green Lotus award. This award recognises the mortgage lender that has been the most progressive in terms of residential sustainability in the broadest sense of the word, in the view of the advisory firms and jury. In addition to the Verduurzamingshypotheek, which was introduced in 2019, a.s.r. offers existing customers the opportunity to take out a Verduurzamingshypotheek in addition to an already existing mortgage. The NPS-c score for mortgages was 39 (2021: 43).
In a shrunken mortgage market, a.s.r. aims to maintain its top 10 position. The application process will be made more efficient and effective, leading to a better service commission for intermediaries. a.s.r. is continuously investigating ways to make it easier for customers to make their homes more sustainable, so as to make a greater impact on the energy transition.