Finance advice
Cate Bakos

How changing bank policy affects investors and tenants

By Cate Bakos

Just over two years ago, APRA stepped in with some tough measures in an effort to reduce the amount of investment lending by our Australian banks. The roar was loud and the changes were noticeable.

Investors quickly felt the brunt of the banking policy changes and all of a sudden, we saw investor budgets reducing, lending rates being hiked up for investment lending, and in some cases, investors being locked out of the market altogether.

At the time, APRA’s desired outcome seemed so unlikely and it was hard to imagine how they’d reduce the lender’s activities to a mere 10 per cent of new investment lending. Little did we know how tough the policy changes would continue to get.

Fast-forward two years and we now see some varied but tough policy conditions out in the marketplace from our lenders, and the imposed conditions have been quite pivotal across the broader property market.

Buyer numbers in the eastern state capital cities have continued to be strong (relatively speaking when benchmarked against prior years), but the mix of investors to owner-occupiers is what has changed, as is the energy and appetite of investors at the coalface.

Not surprisingly, our strongest auction results we’ve recently witnessed have been fuelled by owner-occupiers and investor caution has been palpable. Investors who have remained eligible buyers in the property market have had to flex around and adapt to the increased lender scrutiny.

From tougher imposed conditions on expats to higher-than-actual servicing calculators (lender systems for modelling the cost of servicing the loan), higher interest rates on interest only loans, tighter loan to value ratio limits and restrictions on equity releases, limits on portfolio sizes, and lastly the need for investors to be able to demonstrate that they can cover the cost of both principal and interest repayments at a higher-than-current lending rate, the cards have certainly been stacked against investors.

And that’s not to mention valuation shortfall risk, lender rejection of specific securities (properties used as collateral for the loan), and developer liquidation risks.

Whether these changes to investment lending are a good thing or a bad thing carries varied sentiment. Clearly, we need to be confident that investor sentiment isn’t driving up property prices to the detriment of owner-occupiers, but we also have to consider the effect of limited investor activity on existing investors, developers and tenants.

For the first time in our major eastern capitals in a while, we have had a renewed pressure on rents and a shortage of rental properties in many suburbs.

Rental stress cannot be underestimated and we can anticipate that the resultant effect of this new imbalance will be higher rents and tighter vacancy rates, but also rental stress and affordability concerns for those who are most vulnerable in the housing market.

For current investors (particularly those who have numerous properties in their portfolio), the need to be mindful of changed conditions as their loans exit from interest-only is imperative. The inability to service heightened repayments could be disastrous for those who aren’t prepared.

Like times before, this cyclic balance between rental yield and investor acquisition activity reminds us how tightly bound all of the dynamics are in the world of property investment.

Now, more than ever, is not a time for investors to be nonchalant about lending criteria or borrowing capacity. It’s tough out there for investors and having a trusted finance advisor is absolutely critical.

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About the Blogger

Cate Bakos

Cate Bakos

Cate Bakos is an independent buyers advocate, a qualified property investment advisor, and owner and manager of Cate Bakos Property.

FROM THE WEB

podcast

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In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, Dominique Grubisa joins host Phil Tarrant to share her personal story which saw her hit rock bottom with excessive debt during the GFC.

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Dominique unpacks how, by relying on her background in law, she was able to overcome that debt and in doing so develop a unique investment strategy which she believes many can utilise today.

Dominique discusses distressed properties, and how she goes about finding them in order to buy property well below market value. She shares the process of identifying distressed properties as well as the controversy surrounding this buying method.

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:

3 big property investment myths busted open
5 steps to take on low-risk property developments
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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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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 into this episode of Property Showcase!

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

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    In this episode of Property Showcase, Michael Beresford joins editor of Wealth James Mitchell to unpack why recent political changes are not reason for concern for Australian investors.<\/p>\r\n

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Many investors who would have been successfully approved for finance last year are struggling now to either begin or continue their property investment journey because of the current financial climate.

In this episode of the Smart Property Investment Show, broker John Manciamelli and Momentum Media director Alex Whitlock joins host Tim Neary to discuss how APRA changes and the royal commission have resulted in a tighter lending economy and what that means for Australian investors.

They discuss what traps investors should avoid if they are trying to obtain finance, the four key growth drivers in a property market and unpacking trust structures while revealing one type of trust that you should miss.

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:

How technology is changing the lending environment
Lessons from a falling market
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AREAS MENTIONED:

Hobart
Bondi
Deception Bay

 

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More than just bricks and mortar, experts often regard property investment as a ‘game of finance’. As such, a good finance strategy can lead any investor to success.

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Getting finance approved in this tightening lending environment

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