Finance advice

APRA chairman sets sights higher on ‘improvements’ to lending

By James Mitchell
APRA chairman sets sights higher on ‘improvements’ to lending

The prudential regulator has claimed while its curbs on investor and interest-only lending have been successful, there is still more work to be done on ensuring improvements the industry has made are truly embedded into industry practice”.

Speaking at the A50 Australian Economic Forum in Sydney, APRA chairman Wayne Byres said that the regulator’s most recent macro-prudential measures, which instructed banks to ensure no more than 30 per cent of new home loans were interest-only, have so far been a success.

“Over time, our interventions have served their purpose and we have seen lending standards improve,” Mr Byres said.

“Our benchmark of no more than 30 per cent of new lending being on interest-only terms is not overly restrictive for borrowers who genuinely need this form of finance — roughly one in three loans granted can still be on an interest-only basis — but it has required the major interest-only lenders to establish strategies that incentivise more borrowers to repay their principal.

“The industry has been quite successful in doing so. Recent data for the last quarter of 2017 shows that only about one in five loans were interest-only, and the number of interest-only loans with high LVRs continued to fall to quite low levels. All of that is positive for the quality of loan portfolios.”

However, Mr Byres added that the regulator is “not declaring victory just yet” and wants to see higher lending standards become a more deep-rooted foundation of the home lending landscape.

“We still want to see that the improvements the industry has made are truly embedded into industry practice,” the chairman said. “And we can modify our interventions as more permanent measures come into play.”

This will include the further strengthening of borrower serviceability assessments by lenders, strengthened capital requirements for mortgage lending and comprehensive credit reporting being mandated by the government.

“Through these initiatives, we are laying the platform to make sure prudent lending is maintained on an ongoing basis,” Mr Byres said.

APRA’s decision to cap investor and interest-only lending led the banks to lift rates in an effort to stymie demand, a strategy that has come under heavy criticism from mortgage brokers and industry associations.

A parliamentary inquiry into the big four banks last year was largely focused around whether or not the majors had profited from the mortgage repricing.

The ACCC is currently conducting an investigation into the issue.

Meanwhile, a fresh report into competition in the sector from the Productivity Commission estimates that lending curbs imposed by the banking regulator have cost Australian taxpayers $500 million a year, increased bank profits and reduced competition.

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

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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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  ["introtext"]=>
  string(381) "

If Mark Hodge’s face looks familiar to you it could be because of his time working as a professional entertainer which saw him working with the Australian ballet, appearing on multiple seasons of Dancing with the Stars and touring in musical theatre for 17 years. What you may not know is that Mark is also heavily involved in the short-term property rental marketspace.

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Mark joins host Phil Tarrant to discuss his transition from entertainer to investor, a journey pushed forward by dance related injuries and even a hit and run which saw him needing to find alternate methods to bring in an income. Mark shares how bad long-term tenants and a gang member guided him to the short-term rental market, and how this pushed him into helping others to realise the same benefits.

Mark will also address the common concerns, discuss what his company Maisonnets specialise in and unpack how they are making the process of filling short term rentals easier for investors.

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:

The hard-to-swallow truth: The prickly points of the Airbnb reforms
Airbnb reforms unpacked for property investors
Airbnb leasing: What are a landlord’s rights and responsibilities? 


AREAS MENTIONED:

Melbourne
Sydney
Rushcutters Bay
Maroubra
Potts Point

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From pirouettes to property investment

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