Home loan numbers fall ahead of lending restrictions
The number of home loans and amount being borrowed has dipped ahead of further lending restrictions, but one mortgage broker says it could be six months before full effects are known.
Weekly figures released by the Reserve Bank show 5668 home loans were approved in the week ending August 12 – down from 6332 in the week ending July 15 – the week before the latest plans to tighten lending were announced.
The amount borrowed also fell from $1.413 billion in the week before the announcement to $1.233 billion in the week ending August 12.
Plans to further restrict lending to investors were announced on July 19 and won’t officially come into force until October 1 – but banks have been asked to follow the spirit of the changes already.
There are still a lot of people out there with existing pre-approvals.
Those changes include increasing the deposit required by investors to 40 per cent from 30 per cent for 95 per cent of loans and rolling out the requirement nationally.
Banks must also ensure 90 per cent of lending to owner-occupiers nationally has a deposit of at least 20 per cent.
Karen Tatterson, a mortgage broker with Loan Market said she was not surprised lending had dipped ahead of the changes but had not seen a slow-down in business herself.
Tatterson those with pre-approvals in place were having to stick to them or face being re-assessed under the new loan conditions for any changes.
“I did have a client who wanted to completely change everything the day before her settlement.”
But when the woman found out she would be assessed under the new rules and could miss out on the loan she quickly changed her mind.
Most pre-approvals were for 60 days but some could be as long as six months.
Tatterson said it would likely take several months to work through those pre-approvals and then the market would go into its traditional quiet patch around Christmas and New Year.
“We really won’t see the true impact until February/March.”