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Reserve Bank targets investors

Property investors remain firmly in the sights of the Reserve Bank.

Thursday, March 5th 2015, 5:14PM

by Miriam Bell

It announced today it plans to create a new loan category for investors.

The Reserve Bank says that, over the next month, it will be consulting on “a new asset class treatment for mortgage loans to residential property investors within its capital adequacy requirements”.

It plans to amend existing rules by requiring all locally-incorporated banks to include residential property investment mortgage loans in a specific asset sub-class, and to hold appropriate regulatory capital for those loans.

The Reserve Bank, which cites international evidence on the higher risk profiles of investors, says the goal of the consultation is to better define what an investment property loan is.

While it has previously proposed defining property investors as those with five or more properties, that suggestion was met with significant opposition.

This time, the Reserve Bank plans to consult on three possible alternative definitions for property investment loans. They are:
- If the mortgaged property is not owner-occupied; or
- If servicing of the mortgage loan is primarily reliant on rental income; or
- If servicing of the mortgage loan is at all reliant on rental income.

Loan Market’s Bruce Patten says the Reserve Bank’s latest approach is a better one.

He believes the Reserve Bank is seeking to get a better understanding of the level of property investment and its place in the property market.

“Based on the available information, I think this is stage one of a data collection plan. They need to gather information before they enact any macro-prudential tools aimed at investors.”

But the issue is what the Reserve Bank might then do once it has collected such information.

Ultimately, it could lead to higher interest rates or servicing limitations for investors, Patten says.

“This could be a cause of concern. If you believe there should be less tinkering with the market, then you would probably take a negative outlook.”

When it comes to individual investors, Patten felt the measure’s impact on the market would have little effect on those with good equity who are well-serviced.

“But for those who are not in such a good position, who are on the borders, it could cut them out of the market.”

ILender’s Jeff Royle says that, in many other countries around the world, there are differentials between home loans and investment property loans.

This means that investment property loans are often more expensive because they are considered to have a commercial aspect and  a higher risk profile.

“So if New Zealand does go down that road, it would be following international practice.”

Like Patten, he felt that the Reserve Bank’s move was the first step in a grander plan.

“They clearly want to find out how much of the lending going on in the property market is for home loans and how much is for investment property loans. What will be interesting is what they then decide to do with the information once they have it.”

The Reserve Bank consultation process finishes on April 7. For more information about the  consultation, click here.

« Reserve Bank comes up with new definition for property investorsBank lending up, but profits down »

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Mortgage Rates Table

Full Rates Table | Compare Rates

Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
ANZ 5.19 4.05 3.95 4.49
ANZ Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
ASB Bank 5.20 4.05 3.95 4.39
ASB Bank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
BNZ - Classic - 3.55 3.45 3.99
BNZ - Mortgage One 5.90 - - -
BNZ - Rapid Repay 5.35 - - -
BNZ - Std, FlyBuys 5.30 4.45 4.35 4.55
BNZ - TotalMoney 5.30 - - -
China Construction Bank 5.50 4.70 4.80 4.95
China Construction Bank Special - 3.19 3.19 3.19
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Credit Union Auckland 5.95 - - -
Credit Union Baywide 6.15 4.95 4.95 -
Credit Union North 6.45 - - -
Credit Union South 6.45 - - -
Finance Direct - - - -
First Credit Union 5.85 3.99 4.49 -
Heartland 6.70 7.00 7.25 7.85
Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
Heretaunga Building Society 5.75 4.80 4.95 -
HSBC Premier 5.24 3.35 3.35 3.35
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 4.04 3.95 4.39
Kiwibank 5.80 4.30 4.20 4.64
Kiwibank - Capped - - - -
Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.55 3.45 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 4.86 3.89 3.94
RESIMAC Special - - - -
SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - ▼3.55 3.39 3.89
Sovereign 5.30 4.15 4.29 4.55
Sovereign Special - 3.65 3.75 4.05
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
TSB Bank 6.09 4.35 4.25 4.69
Lender Flt 1yr 2yr 3yr
TSB Special 5.29 3.55 3.45 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society 5.70 4.85 4.99 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.55 3.45 3.99
Median 5.34 4.04 4.09 4.39

Last updated: 11 November 2019 4:01pm

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