Finance advice

Banks closing ranks to freeze out investors

By Reporter
Houses

Investors are being told to keep a close eye on the market in coming weeks – with even more lenders announcing changes to their serviceability and borrowing requirements for investors as regulators try to reign in investor activity.

Earlier this week, Smart Property Investment reported that Bankwest had put the brakes on investor lending and would be implementing a maximum loan-to-value ratio (LVR) of 80 per cent for investment loans. The bank also announced it would no longer offer special pricing on its Complete Variable product for any loan that has investment as its primary purpose.

Westpac has also removed negative gearing benefits from its servicing calculator – meaning the tax incentive will no longer be factored into investors’ serviceability calculations, according to Nicole Cannon from Pink Finance.

Since then it has come to light that other measures are being implemented by some of Australia’s biggest banks.

In an email to mortgage brokers, the Commonwealth Bank said it has reviewed its Investment Home Loan Rebate Offer of $1,000 and has reduced pricing discounts for Investment Home Loans in its Home Loan Pricing Tool. The bank noted that “heavier discounts very much remain available for Owner Occupied Lending”.

In addition, Kieran Evans, head of third party relationship channels at ANZ, contacted brokers via email and said the bank was implementing measures to ensure its portfolio grew in a balanced way.

“As a result, we will be introducing a range of changes to how we manage investor lending effective immediately,” the email said.

Smart Property Investment understands that the bank will no longer offer discounted interest rates to new property investors who do not already have their principal place of residence mortgaged with the bank.

NAB, too, is reducing the discounts offered to new investor borrowers.

Speaking to Smart Property Investment, SQM Research managing director Louis Christopher said it’s difficult to say what impact these moves will have on the market, but there was one group of investors who would likely feel the squeeze.

“The impact upon the investor market will be fairly modest at this stage. It’s mainly going to affect investors who were right on the line, right on the threshold of whether they were actually going to get a loan or not – and that’s only a relatively small segment of the market in the scheme of things,” he said.

Mr Christopher said there was “no doubt” these measures had been designed to keep some investors out of the market and “to keep some investors at bay who were right on the threshold of serviceability and being able to do this [investing] to begin with”.

“It’s designed to take some of the weaker investors out of the market and it will do that, so there will be some impact upon demand. Should investors be worried about a major slowdown? Well, it depends on which city we’re discussing.”

Mr Christopher remained optimistic about the outlook for the Sydney property market and said he doesn’t think the measures introduced by the banks “will be enough to actually kill off the Sydney housing boom”.

Todd Hunter, director and location researcher for wHeregroup, took a slightly gloomier view and said the measures, combined with other market factors, will slow down the Sydney market and sting certain investors.

“It will take a little while for people to lose money. We’ll see a flattening out before we see a decrease [in property prices].

“But the real people who should be worried are those who purchased off-the-plan and have a 10 per cent deposit on properties that won’t be completed for another year or two. I think we’re going to see some pretty significant valuation shortfalls that occur on those properties.”

Mr Hunter said these investors may find they fall into negative equity “in relation to the valuation”, which will mean they’ll have to come up with a bigger deposit or forfeit the sale.

Both Mr Hunter and Mr Christopher advised investors to keep a close eye on the market in coming weeks, with Mr Christopher pointing to auction clearance rates as a key indicators of whether the measures were having the desired effect.

“Watching auction clearance rates over the next two or three weekends will be most interesting. If there has been an impact we’ll see it through the Sydney clearance rate and to a lesser extent the Melbourne clearance rate.

“Sydney’s clearance rate has been at record highs over the past five weeks – as high as I’ve ever seen it since records began in the mid-1980s. So time will tell.”

Mr Christopher noted it was “interesting” that none of the banks appeared to be making geo-targeted policy changes and were instead implementing them Australia-wide.

In October, Century 21 Australasia owner and chairman Charles Tarbey said introducing loan-to-value ratio (LVR) restrictions on investors would be disastrous and immensely damage the housing market.

 

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Purchasing their first property 15 years ago with the intention of creating a property portfolio which would see them comfortably supported during their retirement, Max and Jeanette Schudeboom now have a portfolio of 13 properties.

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Max and Jeanette joins  host Phil Tarrant to discuss their property journey, compare the Australian market to Max’s home town of Holland, and share their plans to maintain the size of their portfolio.

The pair also unpack how they manage and finance their portfolio, discuss the process they go through when choosing where to invest, and share the tips learned from 15 years as property investors.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Castle Hill
Point Cook
Elizabeth East
Huntfield Heights
Mt Warren Park
Albury
Cambridge Park
Penrith
Braemar
Morayfield
Melbourne
Mill Park
Edens Landing

 

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Property investors are now able to identify and bid on auctions remotely using a new live-streaming functionality launched by Gavl.

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Called “Request an Auction”, the new functionality enables users to watch and bid on any Sydney or Melbourne auction remotely.

Through Gavl, prospective buyers are now able to register to bid on their preferred auction. The platform will obtain permission from the listing agent and confirm within 48 hours.

Vendors can also request to have their auctions broadcast to a larger buyer audience.

Co-founder Joel Smith said that auctions streamed on Gavl attract 47 per cent more viewers than traditional ones.

He said that Request an Auction will be valuable for remote buyers.

“Buyers are able to have Gavl attend any auction they nominate, so they will never have to miss out on an opportunity due to logistical complications in physically attending the auction.

“Vendors, too, have the opportunity to directly book an auction with us, so they can open up their event to buyers all around the world. With more potential buyers, they’re giving their property the chance to receive more bids and maximise their sales result.”

Mr Smith said that prior to the Request an Auction app, buyers were limited to what they could achieve through the Gavl technology.

Gavl is a live-streaming and bidding platform for real estate auctions.

Mr Smith said that it has streamed more than 6,000 auctions, which have achieved 3.5 million views from 50 countries.

Gavl’s Request an Auction function is currently being offered in Melbourne and Sydney only.

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Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding
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Having to split her time between Hong Kong and her original base of Sydney has not slowed Julia Tita’s goal of building a high-performance Australian property portfolio. Instead the resulting alterations to her strategy have positively impacted her investing success.

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Having recently purchased her 6th property, Julia joins host Tim Neary to discuss her journey, share her ups and downs over the years, and reveal her thoughts on why some properties are better than others.

Julia also explains why she no longer makes a move without the help of a buyer’s agent, why working with a strong team of specialists is extremely important and discloses her long-term property ambitions.

If you like this episode, show your support by rating us or leaving a review on iTunes (The Smart Property Investment Show) and by following Smart Property Investment on social media: FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

If you have any questions about what you heard today, any topics of interest you have in mind, or if you’d like to lend your voice to the show, email [email protected] for more insights!

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
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Paddington
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Orange
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Glen Iris
Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals

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