Finance advice

APRA claims property prices have signalled risk for ‘some time’

By James Mitchell
Property prices, countercyclical buffers, property management, property market, house prices

The regulator believes it can successfully cool house prices and contain risk without relying on countercyclical buffers.

Speaking at the Actuaries Institute Banking Seminar in Sydney on Thursday (7 December), APRA’s executive general manager - policy and advice division, Pat Brennan, said that the countercyclical buffer could still be used if lending standards deteriorate and credit growth becomes excessive.

APRA has not yet used the countercyclical capital buffer in response to risks within the banking system.

“That does not mean we would never plan to do so,” Mr Brennan said. “In short, the countercyclical capital buffer provides a tool that can be used to raise banking sector capital requirements in periods of excess credit growth associated with the build-up of systemic risk. This additional buffer can then be released during periods of stress to reduce the risk of the supply of credit being hindered by regulatory capital requirements.”

The buffer came into effect from January 2016 as part of Basel III, but APRA has chosen to use other tools, such as limits on investor and interest-only mortgage lending, to control risks in the system.

The buffer can be set between zero and a maximum of 2.5 per cent of risk-weighted assets. APRA set it at 0 per cent at the end of 2015 and this remains unchanged.

APRA has chosen nine core indicators that provide a signal of systemic risk, including house price growth and commercial property growth.

Interestingly, APRA chairman Wayne Byres has repeatedly stressed that “housing prices are not within the control, nor the mandate, of the prudential regulator”.

Nevertheless, Mr Brennan this week warned that trends in property prices have been signalling heightened risks “for some time”.

“On their own, however, they do not suggest the need to institute the countercyclical buffer at this point,” the executive said. “Rather, APRA has chosen to tackle these risks with other tools. In housing lending, this includes our benchmarks on investor and interest-only lending as well as substantial supervisory work to improve serviceability standards.

Mr Brennan said that the countercyclical capital buffer is designed to reinforce the resilience of the banking system in response to excessive credit growth.

“Certainly, credit growth has been a key factor in our supervisory concerns in relation to housing,” Mr Brennan added.

APRA’s decision not to use the countercyclical buffer and instead resort to lending curbs has led to tightened policies and higher rates for borrowers.

The regulator expects growth in credit to be supported in the near term by, among other things, the settlement of a significant supply of apartments due to hit the market in the eastern capital cities in the coming months.

“However, working in the other direction is the impact of higher home loan rates and tighter lending standards, which may see some marginal borrowers finding it more difficult to access credit, particularly for investor and interest-only products,” Mr Brennan said.

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  ["title"]=>
  string(51) "Boost for investors as app sets up off-site bidding"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(55) "boost-for-investors-as-new-app-sets-up-off-site-bidding"
  ["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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["secure"]=> int(0) ["page_description"]=> string(11) "sample desc" ["page_rights"]=> NULL ["robots"]=> NULL ["access-view"]=> bool(true) } ["initialized":protected]=> bool(true) ["separator"]=> string(1) "." } ["displayDate"]=> string(19) "2018-06-18 03:15:56" ["slug"]=> string(72) "18171:how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" ["catslug"]=> string(28) "45:smart-property-investment" ["link"]=> string(92) "/investor-stories-1/18171-how-a-move-to-hong-kong-impacted-julia-s-australian-property-goals" }
How a move to Hong Kong impacted Julia’s Australian property goals
object(stdClass)#1215 (52) {
  ["id"]=>
  string(5) "18159"
  ["title"]=>
  string(88) "‘Common’ referrer practice of being paid on both sides of the fence coming to an end"
  ["alias"]=>
  string(82) "common-referrer-practice-of-being-paid-on-both-sides-of-the-fence-coming-to-an-end"
  ["introtext"]=>
  string(246) "

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.

" ["fulltext"]=> string(2238) "

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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