Finance advice

Banks offering ‘significant discounts’ to property investors

By James Mitchell
Mortgage discounts for property investors

New research has revealed that property investors are negotiating significant price discounts on home loans, despite measures to cool investor lending.

Speaking to Smart Property Investment's sister publication Mortgage Business following the release of the JP Morgan Australian Mortgage Industry Report last week, Digital Finance Analytics (DFA) principal Martin North, who co-authored the report, said “there is strong evidence that investors are becoming able to secure significant discounts” on their home loans.

“We are seeing competition swinging back more into the investor loan space. Some of the discounts we are seeing are even better than what is available to FHBs or even owner-occupiers with a higher LVR,” he said.

Rate discounts for investors all but disappeared when regulatory measures saw banks introduce differential pricing last year. Lenders then started to offer attractive headline rates under 4 per cent in an effort to secure investor business, particularly as the growth rate of their books fell below APRA’s 10 per cent speed limit.

According to Mr North, before differential pricing you could get up to 120 basis point discounts on investor loans. Now, he says, those discounts are returning as fresh momentum gathers in the investor lending market.

“Property investors seem convinced that capital growth is still available,” he explained.

“The banks are recognising this. So what they have done is take away some of those great headlines rates, those good deals, and started to offer heavier discounting for investors.

“I’ve noticed that some investors who have been transacting over the last few months have been able to get a very significant discount off their investment loan.”

However, Mr North said banks are “picky” and that discounts are heavily dependent on the type of deal. Investor home loans that are principle and interest (P&I) with an LVR of 80 per cent or less are attracting the biggest discounts, he said.

“My view is that these discounts are now back in the market. But you have to know where to look for them and you have to ask. It’s not just a case of flicking through the comparison websites.

“That’s why there is a very significant correlation between these discounts and mortgage brokers. They know where to find these discounts.”

The revelation comes as new data from major mortgage aggregator AFG shows lending to property investors remains strong, falling by just two percentage points over the September quarter.

Comparethemarket.com.au analysed AFG’s September quarter data to find that borrowing by real estate investors declined marginally from 34 per cent to 32 per cent for the first quarter of the 2016/17 financial year.

Back in May APRA announced the big four banks and Macquarie would be required to hold additional regulatory capital against their loan books as protection against any increase in defaults.

Banks have also tightened their lending requirements. For example, Commonwealth Bank no longer lends to self-employed foreign property investors.

“Tighter regulations designed to cool the property market, and lending to it, hasn’t deterred investors,” Comparethemarket.com.au spokesperson Abigail Koch said.

The latest ABS housing finance data shows that the $31.4 billion worth of commitments in August was split between $19.5 billion worth of commitments by owner-occupiers and $11.9 billion in commitments to investors. The value of lending to owner-occupiers has fallen over two consecutive months while lending to investors has risen for the fourth consecutive month.

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With the softening market impacting property values in many parts of Australia, Sally Dale, Opteon state director for NSW, ACT and Qld joins us to discuss the importance of valuations in the current property market

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Joining host Phil Tarrant, Sally will draw on her 25 years of experience in valuation and discuss the processes involved in arriving at a value for a particular property. She will also share how that process differs between commercial and residential properties and the difficulties which regional property valuations can present.

Sally will unpack the importance and cost of regular valuations on your properties, discuss whether presentation and owner input can sway a valuation and share what you should look for when seeking a reputable property valuer.

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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Gavin Kemp and his now-fiancé bought their first property together after only six months of dating. They weren’t even living together at the time. Now, two years on, the pair have bought five properties, sold two and have a solid plan in place for their ongoing property journey. 

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Gavin joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss how he chose the locations where he decided to invest and how, due to the initial lack of education (something that he now values highly), he lost money on his first two investments.

Gavin will share his thoughts on the current property market, reveal the people who he has leaned on throughout his property journey and discuss why his strategy employs a zero procrastination rule.

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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A joint property portfolio before they were even living together

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