My Portfolio

Property investment loans in the spotlight

One of the more intriguing pieces of correspondence recently has been Westpac's oblique reference to increased pricing for property investment loans.

We all know investors are pretty active around the country at the moment. As we report here nearly half of all Auckland loans are going to investors.

Recently Westpac wrote to mortgage advisers intimating that because of increased capital requirements for property investment loans interest rates may go up. Many mortgage advisers asked us about this so we approached the bank for comment.

Unfortunately they kept to form and provided no further information and declined our interview request. 

It would be little surprise if Westpac, or any other bank for that matter, did change the way it priced investor loans.

Across the ditch we have seen Australian banks required to hold more capital for property investment loans and that has seen some lenders pull out of this market segment. It would, I suggest, be unlikely to happen here as that would result in significant market share loss - something banks just don't like.

Regular readers of TMM will know my view on the failure of mortgage groups to make submissions on the review of the Financial Adviser Act. In response to my recent editorial I received this:

"Once the bureaucrats stop being democratic, most of us put our heads down and duck for cover.  I assure you when we do stand up now we have pot shots taken at us.  I have been quite vocal and it has come at a very high cost (including financial) as I have been the target of FMA and others. 

"You possibly have no idea how stressful the last round was and we are wary to do that again, so please understand Phil, the bureaucrats have won this one, you are say by default, I say with or without input from us the outcome was determined."

This was was a senior figure who describes himself as "An optimist, (who is) passionate about this industry."

Interesting food for thought.

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