BNZ halts high LVR investor loans

BNZ has stopped accepting high LVR investor loan applications from the adviser channel, as the lender struggles with "unprecedented demand".

Wednesday, February 3rd 2021, 2:32PM

The bank will no longer accept applications from mortgage advisers on behalf of investors unless they can provide a 40% deposit. 

The move brings BNZ in line with ANZ, which introduced a minimum 40% deposit rule for investors in December.

While ANZ said its move was due to the over-heated housing market, BNZ said its decision was taken due to soaring demand.

It is unclear how long the new restrictions will stay in place.

A BNZ spokesman said: "With unprecedented demand in the housing market, we are prioritising existing customers and applying a 40% equity requirement for new applications from investors who come via brokers."

Soaring house prices in recent months have prompted calls for a crackdown on investor loans, with investors shouldering the blame for rising prices.

Since the Reserve Bank scrapped loan to value restrictions on lenders last year, investors have roared back into the market.

While LVR rules are due to be reinstated in March, figures show investors have made the most of a restriction-less market.

Investors borrowed $2.24 billion in November, up on $1.8 billion in October, and close to the record $2.4 billion borrowed in May 2016, according to RBNZ data.

Investor lending at high LVR levels, above 70%, rose to $844 million in November, up from $745 million the month before. Those levels have not been seen since 2014-2016.

Tags: BNZ investor lending LVR

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