Finance advice
Kevin Lee

What are the big four banks doing to investment loans?

By Kevin Lee

With the big four banks complying with lending changes, what does this mean for property investors?

Blogger: Kevin Lee, founder, Smart Property Adviser

In the second half of last year – and under the guise of a directive by APRA – most Australian banks increased mortgage rates “to offset pressure on margins being squeezed by regulatory changes, competition and slower economic growth”. Mmmm, by all accounts they’ve had a ripping good time with mortgage lending, in spite of their ‘slower economic growth’ spin.

Australia's big four banks dutifully ‘complied’ with these lending changes – possibly for the first time ever, taking APRA’s directive as a licence to make even more profit from their hapless clients.

In fact, one bank increased their rate for investors by 47 points, and applied that increase to every existing variable rate loan on their books! Disgusted, I took it upon myself to inform our clients about these unprecedented lending changes. Last August I hosted an exposé webinar – ironically titled ‘Banks Behaving Badly’ – and it was a rude awakening for most people.

But as the old cliché goes, “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”.

It looks like the fat lady today is a collective term for the banks. They’re at it again! Right now they’re crying poor and increasing interest rates for some borrowers and on some loans.

They say it's because their cost of funds has increased. Glenn Stevens says otherwise. The RBA head issued a stern warning to the banks this week that their “out-of-cycle interest rate hikes” can’t be blamed on higher funding costs, claiming financial markets were overreacting.

Maybe, just maybe, the recent bank sell-off on the stock market is partly to blame? With corporate bonuses looking a little shaky, maybe those pesky bank executives need to create some ‘extra profit’?

Or maybe this is actually the beginning of the end for the big four – as far as the days of wallowing in their 'super profits' are concerned? One thing is for sure: there’s definitely a massive change headed our way.

ANZ and NAB both increased business loan rates over the past two weeks, while others lifted various residential rates this week – all of them partly blaming higher funding costs. Dig deep enough and – like last time – you'd most likely find it's about increasing their already-outrageous bottom-line profit.

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About the Blogger

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee

Kevin Lee of Smart Property Adviser is regarded by many as Australia's most trusted property investment adviser. Since 1999, Kevin's been the go-to-guy for people when they need honest finance and property investment advice and guidance.

Kevin hosts a regular Investors' Boardroom and investors from around the world fly in to Sydney to attend. More information is available at www.smartpropertyadviser.com.au

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(144) "

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!

RELATED AREAS OF INTEREST:

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AREAS MENTIONED:

Eagleby
Charters Towers
Townsville
Brisbane
Paddington
Sydney
Orange
Melbourne 
Glen Iris
Bondi

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How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
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  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
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The practice of property investment firms sharing undisclosed kickbacks among the supply chain involved in development sales will be outlawed in NSW on 1 July this year under the Real Estate Reform being handed down by regulators in NSW.

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Property commentator and valuer, Suburbanite’s Anna Porter, said the reform will address conflicts of interest.

She said they arise when a mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner receives part of the commission from the property firm, who receive their fees from the developer or seller.

“This puts the broker into a position by which they are being paid on both sides of the fence,” she said.

“Until now this has been a grey area and there was nothing stopping this practice.” 

Ms Porter said this has been a common practice in the industry.

"Some well-known mortgage broking firms openly admit to receiving $5,000–$10,000 per referral in their pocket.”

She also said this process has been going on for decades.

"Property investment firms commonly pass some of their commission on to the mortgage broker, accountant or financial planner as a reward to them for passing on the referral. This means that many brokers or financial service providers are making significant amounts of money just to refer on to a property firm, often totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars a year," Anna Porter said.

Ms Porter said the Property, Stock and Business Agents Amendment (Property Industry Reform) Bill 2017 will be in force from July this year, and will prohibit this practice unless the broker or referring partner also holds a real estate industry license.

"Under the new laws, if the broker takes a referral fee from the property firm, they will have to be a licensed real estate agent and also hold a corporation’s license,” she said. 

“Subsequently, every transaction that they receive a referral fee from, they will be putting their license up against the transaction and taking full liability for the conduct, practices and outcome of that transaction, even if they have little to do with the transaction; they are a party to it financially and therefore take as much risk as everyone else in the transaction.”

Mr Porter said where a referrer holds a real estate license, and receives a part of the sale commission, they may find themselves in breach of the ethical requirements under the act.

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‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end

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