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Mortgage Origination in South Africa – The History

Mortgage Origination in South Africa – The History

The late 1990s and early 2000s witnessed the growth of mortgage origination companies in South Africa. These companies acted as intermediaries between borrowers and lenders, helping borrowers secure mortgage loans by matching them with suitable lenders and assisting with the application process. Mortgage origination companies played a crucial role in increasing competition, streamlining processes, and expanding access to mortgage finance.

The Mortgage Origination Regulatory Council of South Africa (“MORCSA”) is an industry body that was established by the three largest origination corporations in South Africa, being ooba (Pty) Limited, BetterLife Group Limited (BetterBond and MortgageMax combined) and Multi Net Real Estate CC. The MORCSA objectives include co-operation with the South African government in relation to the efficient and effective operation of the industry and its regulation.



Ooba, formerly known as MortgageSA, was one of the first companies to offer mortgage origination services in South Africa. It was founded in 1999 by Saul Geffen, son of Sotheby’s Lew Geffin. The company is jointly owned by some of the leading estate agencies in South Africa – including Sotheby’s, Harcourts, Pam Golding, Wakefields and Jawitz, to name a few.


Founded by Rudy Botha in 2000 when mortgage origination in SA was still in its infancy, BetterBond grew rapidly and in 2003 merged with PA Homeloans to immediately become the country's second biggest originator. It has continued to flourish and, as the market leader since 2005, has helped more than 1-million SA families on their journey to owning a home.

Since it was founded in 2000, BetterBond (along with its aggregation partner, MortgageMax) has grown to become the largest bond originator in South Africa, with specialist experience in the property industry and more than 20 branches nationwide supporting our real estate partners and customers.


The Multinet Property Group was formed in January 1998, with its target market being the smaller independent firms employing 1-15 estate agents and with a strong presence within a specific area. The company entered the bond origination arena in 2003 as MultiNET Mortgages.

The mortgage origination industry in South Africa continues to evolve and innovate. The market has seen the introduction of new products, such as variable rate mortgages and innovative financing options, including shared equity schemes and green mortgages that promote sustainable housing.

With the advancement of technology, mortgage origination processes in South Africa became increasingly digitized. Online platforms and electronic documentation streamlined the application and approval processes, making it more efficient for borrowers and lenders alike.

These changes have contributed to the development of a more competitive and accessible mortgage market, benefiting borrowers and driving the growth of homeownership in the country.

By 2007 approximately 60% of all home loan applications in South Africa were sourced through origination. 2008 is the year that mortgage origination became the norm.


Phoenix Bonds is a smaller boutique mortgage broker that offers a premium home loan comparison service – with expert advice and personalised service. Our directors have over 100 years’ experience in the industry and we pride ourselves on our commitment to getting home loans approved at the best possible rate.

Contact us now to get in touch with a broker near you.

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