Finance advice

Special report: APRA tries to take the heat out of the market

By Jack Needham and Vivienne Kelly
BUILDING

Concerned that investor activity in Australia’s two largest capitals is pricing first-time home buyers out of the market, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) has introduced directives aimed at curbing investor borrowing.

The new directives from APRA come at a time of intense growth in the residential property sector in Melbourne and, in particular, Sydney.

The median house prices in each city stand at $706,000 for Melbourne (REIV) and $930,000 in Sydney (REIA), and winter auction clearance rates have been at record highs.

The heat in each market is largely attributed to a high level of investor activity fuelled by the low interest rate climate, and is being blamed for pricing first home buyers, and other low-income purchasers, out of the game.

In December 2014 APRA announced tighter home lending standards for investors, with the aim of keeping annual growth in residential property investment loans to 10 per cent or less year-on-year.

This appeared to have little effect on investor home loan approvals, with reports in May indicating that several major banks were close to exceeding the threshold.

Again in May, APRA announced its preference for banks to adhere to a 7 per cent ‘stress test’ when assessing lenders borrowing capabilities.

In a speech at the COBA CEO & Director Forum in Sydney in May, Wayne Byres, APRA chairman, said Australia needed to ensure it didn’t place its historically stable banking sector at risk.

“The current economic environment for housing lenders is characterised by heightened levels of risk, reflecting a combination of historically low interest rates, high household debt, subdued economic growth, and strong competitive pressures. Many of these features have been emerging over a number of years, and APRA’s supervision has been intensifying in response,” he said.

Mr Byres said as “housing-related risks have potentially grown” the regulator has sought to “turn up the dial” in terms of scrutiny and management.

APRA investigations into hypothetical borrower scenarios found that “common sense was sometimes absent” when it came to the banks’ treatment of borrowers’ income sources and credit assessment processes.

He also said lending standards were “a little disconcerting in places”.

Several major banking institutions have made significant changes to their investor lending policies in recent weeks and months, largely in response to directives and comments issued by APRA.

These have ranged from changes to serviceability requirements and approval terms right through to the suspension of all loan approvals.

In the final weeks of May, several banks announced changes to their loan serviceability calculations, including ‘stress test’ requirements and the removal of negative gearing concessions from their calculations.

Other changes included tighter restrictions to the maximum loan-to-value ratio requirements and the removal of discretionary pricing on investor loans.

For investors, this essentially translated to increased deposit requirements during the approval phase of a loan, and an increased onus on proving their ability to service the loan throughout its term.

At the end of June, APRA released a temporary directive for five banks to retain capital that would otherwise have been released in the form of home loans.

APRA ordered ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Westpac and Macquarie Bank to increase the amount of capital required for their residential mortgage exposures, meaning they will have to retain billions of dollars that would otherwise have gone out in home loans.

The result of this announcement was widely touted as translating to more expensive mortgages and reduced mortgage volumes.

In the past two weeks, ANZ, CBA and NAB (amongst others) all announced increases to variable rate home loans for investors.

Some banks, including CBA and ANZ, simultaneously announced reduced rates or concessions for fixed rate owner-occupier products.

This week, AMP announced the suspension of new and existing investor home loan application approvals until later this year.

More institutions are expected to announce changes within the coming weeks.

APRA Special Report: 

 Special report: APRA changes to meet with mixed success

Special report: first-time investors hit the hardest 

Special report: pain and gain for existing investors  

Special report: investors unfazed by lending changes

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  ["id"]=>
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  ["title"]=>
  string(72) "Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option"
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(255) "

Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall investment experience seamless and stress-free!

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To hear more about these services, make sure to tune in to this episode of Property Showcase!

 Make sure you never miss an episode by subscribing to us now on iTunes!

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Son Pham is the accredited Head of Mortgages at Rethink Financing\/Rethink Investing. He has over 6 years\u2019 experience writing loans, over 12 years in the wealth management industry working for the likes of CBA, AMP and private practice and he is also a licenced financial planner (AFSL 326450). He has multiple investment properties that are cash flow positive which help pay his mortgage on his home and fund his lifestyle.<\/p>\r\n

Son is able to write all types of residential and commercial property loans.<\/p>\r\n

In this episode of Property Showcase, head of mortgages at Rethink investing Son Pham joins host Tim Neary to unpack how an investor should approach getting a mortgage in place with banks tightening down on serviceability.<\/p>\r\n

Hear from\u00a0Son\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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  • The pitfalls that he has seen people get into<\/li>\r\n
  • Interest only loans and if that is the way to go<\/li>\r\n
  • How the mortgage division supports the overall business of Rethink Investing<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>","clientImage1":"images\/podcasts\/Son-Pham.jpg","clientUrl1":"https:\/\/rethinkinvesting.com.au\/","clientName2":"OpenCorp","clientDesc2":"

    Whether it\u2019s building a successful property portfolio or investing in one of their Development Funds, Open Corp can help you through every stage of your investment journey. The team has 40 property specialists who collectively have been involved in over $4 billion worth of property transactions and the acquisition of more than 8000 homes and investment properties.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode of Property Showcase, director of investment services for Open Corp Michael Beresford,\u00a0joins\u00a0editor of Real Estate, Tim Neary to share why he disagrees that the cooling market means that the best times are behind us.<\/p>\r\n

    In this episode, hear from\u00a0Michael\u00a0about:\u00a0<\/p>\r\n

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    • Why Brisbane is a good investment option right now<\/li>\r\n
    • How he wants to help clients take advantage of the current market<\/li>\r\n
    • Why negative press can be good for investors<\/li>\r\n<\/ul>","clientImage2":"images\/podcasts\/Michael-Beresford-170x170.jpg","clientUrl2":"https:\/\/www.opencorp.com.au\/","clientName3":"","clientDesc3":"","clientImage3":"","clientUrl3":"","clientName4":"","clientDesc4":"","clientImage4":"","clientUrl4":"","author_promotion_line":""}" ["metadata"]=> string(53) "{"robots":"","author":"","rights":"","xreference":""}" ["metakey"]=> string(60) "mortgages, tighter, lending, economy, brisbane, good, option" ["metadesc"]=> string(200) "Tune in to the latest episode of Property Showcase, the podcast with the inside track on the products and businesses that will help turbocharge your portfolio, maximise returns and make your overall" ["access"]=> string(1) "1" ["hits"]=> string(2) "32" ["xreference"]=> string(0) "" ["featured"]=> string(1) "0" ["language"]=> string(1) "*" ["readmore"]=> string(3) "818" ["ordering"]=> string(1) "0" ["category_title"]=> string(17) "Property Showcase" ["category_route"]=> string(25) "podcast/property-showcase" ["category_access"]=> string(1) "1" ["category_alias"]=> string(17) "property-showcase" ["published"]=> string(1) "1" ["parents_published"]=> string(1) "1" ["lft"]=> string(2) "98" ["author"]=> string(12) "Todd Stevens" ["author_email"]=> string(33) "[email protected]" ["parent_title"]=> string(7) "Podcast" ["parent_id"]=> string(2) "48" ["parent_route"]=> string(7) "podcast" ["parent_alias"]=> string(7) "podcast" ["rating"]=> string(1) "0" ["rating_count"]=> string(1) "0" ["alternative_readmore"]=> NULL ["layout"]=> NULL ["params"]=> object(Joomla\Registry\Registry)#1215 (3) { ["data":protected]=> object(stdClass)#1212 (95) { ["article_layout"]=> string(14) "spbase:article" ["show_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_titles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_intro"]=> string(1) "1" ["info_block_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["info_block_show_title"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_category"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["link_parent_category"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_associations"]=> string(1) "0" ["flags"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_author"]=> string(1) "1" ["link_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_create_date"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_modify_date"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_publish_date"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_item_navigation"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_vote"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_readmore"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_readmore_title"]=> string(1) "0" ["readmore_limit"]=> string(3) "100" ["show_tags"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_icons"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_print_icon"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_email_icon"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_hits"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_noauth"]=> string(1) "0" ["urls_position"]=> string(1) "0" ["captcha"]=> string(0) "" ["show_publishing_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_article_options"]=> string(1) "1" ["save_history"]=> string(1) "0" ["history_limit"]=> int(10) ["show_urls_images_frontend"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_urls_images_backend"]=> string(1) "1" ["targeta"]=> int(0) ["targetb"]=> int(0) ["targetc"]=> int(0) ["float_intro"]=> string(5) "right" ["float_fulltext"]=> string(5) "right" ["category_layout"]=> string(6) "_:blog" ["show_category_heading_title_text"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_category_title"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_description"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_description_image"]=> string(1) "0" ["maxLevel"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_empty_categories"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_no_articles"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_subcat_desc"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_cat_num_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_cat_tags"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_base_description"]=> string(1) "1" ["maxLevelcat"]=> string(2) "-1" ["show_empty_categories_cat"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcat_desc_cat"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_cat_num_articles_cat"]=> string(1) "1" ["num_leading_articles"]=> string(2) "15" ["num_intro_articles"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_columns"]=> string(1) "0" ["num_links"]=> string(1) "0" ["multi_column_order"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_subcategory_content"]=> string(1) "0" ["show_pagination_limit"]=> string(1) "1" ["filter_field"]=> string(4) "hide" ["show_headings"]=> string(1) "1" ["list_show_date"]=> string(1) "0" ["date_format"]=> string(0) "" ["list_show_hits"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_author"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_votes"]=> string(1) "0" ["list_show_ratings"]=> string(1) "0" ["orderby_pri"]=> string(4) "none" ["orderby_sec"]=> string(5) "rdate" ["order_date"]=> string(9) "published" ["show_pagination"]=> string(1) "2" ["show_pagination_results"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_featured"]=> string(4) "show" ["show_feed_link"]=> string(1) "1" ["feed_summary"]=> string(1) "0" ["feed_show_readmore"]=> string(1) "0" ["sef_advanced"]=> int(0) ["sef_ids"]=> int(0) ["custom_fields_enable"]=> string(1) "1" ["show_page_heading"]=> string(1) "0" ["layout_type"]=> string(4) "blog" ["menu_text"]=> int(1) ["menu_show"]=> int(1) ["page_title"]=> string(53) "Finance Tips and Insights - 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Mortgages in a tighter lending economy and why Brisbane is a good option
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Will Magee has had ambitions to enter into the Australian property market for quite some time, but it has been more than just finances holding him back.  Having been granted permanent residency just two weeks ago, Will is wasting no time and is now in the process of signing papers and finding his first investment property.

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Will joins host Phil Tarrant to share why he is purchasing his first property in partnership with his brother, discuss the complications that can arise from such a strategy, and unpack the ongoing plan for building a joint property portfolio with his brother.

Will will also share how they approached saving for their first property, why he is taking out the mortgage in his name exclusively, and share their savings plan for the year ahead.

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:

From property in Australia to a ski lodge in Japan
Mortgage Trusts, an alternative first step for property investors
Should a real estate title be in one person’s name only?

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A property investment plan years in the making
object(stdClass)#1213 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18287"
  ["title"]=>
  string(75) "Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(74) "regional-victoria-showing-up-melbourne-in-price-performance-new-data-finds"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(139) "

Median house prices in regional Victoria outperformed that of Melbourne in the June quarter, the latest REIV figures reveal. 

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2323) "

Median house prices in the regions rose 4.0 per cent to $419,500 but in Melbourne they dipped by 0.6 of a percentage point to $840,000.

The result in Melbourne was due to a 0.8 of a percentage point fall in prices achieved at auction; this was despite a lift of 2.3 per cent in private sales.

Inner Melbourne suffered due to auction prices, where median prices fell by 4.9 per cent to $1,459,000 but it was middle Melbourne that was hardest hit, with a 5.4 per cent drop to $974,500.

Outer Melbourne had a good quarter with the median rising by 0.5 of a percentage point to $681,000.

Apartment prices in regional Victoria grew by 3.7 per cent to $304,500 while the metro media was up by 0.5 of a percentage point to $604,000.

REIV President Richard Simpson said that despite fewer sales, many sectors of the market were performing well.

“2017 was a bumper year and while the trendline has flattened, despite the fall in median house prices in the June quarter, median prices are still up this calendar year for both houses and units, in Melbourne and in the regions,” Mr Simpson said. 

In particular there was been strong growth in regional centres which is probably due to the first-home buyers’ concessions said Mr Simpsons.

“The first-home buyers’ concession has been a boon for regional areas. A new entrant to the property market buying a house at the regional median will pay no stamp duty, while a first home buyer of an apartment in Melbourne at the median price would pay stamp duty of nearly $25,000,” he said.

Mr Simpson said that more prospective buyers are looking towards regional Victoria which is also having an effect in Melbourne.

“Melbourne’s outer perimeter continues to grow. Small increases in the June quarter mean that the median prices for both houses and units have risen over 10.5 per cent from a year ago.

Mr Simpson said moving forward that vendors need more realistic expectations as the highs of 2017 are now over.

“Negative chatter about the future of the sector coupled with stronger lending controls by financial institutions has created some uncertainty and vendors need to be realistic with their price expectations,” Mr Simpson said.

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Regional Victoria showing up Melbourne in price performance, new data finds

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