Tax and legal advice

APRA IO reductions ‘blunt interventions’, cost taxpayers $500m

By Charbel Kadib
APRA IO reductions 'blunt interventions', cost taxpayers $500m

Lending restrictions put in place by APRA on interest-only loans have cost Australian taxpayers an approximate $500 million a year, according to the Productivity Commission.

In its draft report released following its review into competition in the Australian financial system, the PC has suggested that macro-prudential measures introduced to reduce IO lending are “blunt interventions” and have cost taxpayers an estimated $500 million a year.

“We estimated that the cost borne by taxpayers as a result of changes in home loan investor rates following APRA’s intervention on interest-only loans in 2017 was up to $500 million per year,” the PC report reads.

The PC claimed that the regulator’s measures “boosted lender’s profits”, reduced market competitiveness and hiked interest rates.

“APRA’s actions to slow new lending in what it determined are higher-risk areas resulted in higher interest rates on both new and existing investment loans, boosted lenders’ profit on home loans and saw a decline in competition from some smaller lenders in the home loan market.”

Further, the PC asserted that most of the banks’ supposed increased profit was paid for by taxpayers through negative gearing arrangements.

“Up to half of the increase in lenders’ profit was in effect paid for by taxpayers, as interest on investment loans is tax deductible.”

Call for a review into risk weights

In Draft Recommendation 16.1, the PC called for APRA to “commence and complete” a review the standardised risk weights set for residential mortgages by June 2020.

The PC noted that the review should be focused on “finely calibrating the risk weights to better reflect the risk inherent in individual mortgages”, with particular focus on home loans with a loan-to-variable rate (LVR) less than 80 per cent.

“In particular, consideration should be given to replacing the single risk weight that applies to standard eligible residential mortgages with a loan-to-valuation ratio below 80 per cent with risk weights defined in more narrow bands,” the recommendation reads.

Competition

Moreover, in Draft Finding 2.2 of the report, the PC stated that regulatory efforts to promote stability in the market should not undermine the “essential role” of competition in the sector.

“It is important to ensure that the essential role of competition in economic growth is not eroded further by having stability as the default regulatory position.”

The PC believes that APRA’s lending curbs inhibited competition in the banking sector by stifling the profitability of smaller lenders.

The Customer Owned Banking Association (COBA) has welcomed the PC’s findings, and it claimed that the report is a “wake-up call” regarding the state of competition in the banking sector.

“The draft report is a very welcome wake-up call about the state of the retail banking market and the need to take action to promote competition,” COBA CEO Mike Lawrence said.

“COBA welcomes the report’s endorsement of key points made in our submission including the finding that the major banks have substantial market power and unfair advantages delivered by the regulatory framework and that competition has suffered.

“The PC finds that the major banks have the ability to pass on cost increases and set prices that maintain high levels of profitability — without losing market share.”

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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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  ["title"]=>
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  ["alias"]=>
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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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