APRA’s domestic ADIs property exposure data for the December 2013 quarter

Each quarter the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) publishes data on the exposure of Australian Authorised Deposit-taking Institutions (ADI).  The data is extremely useful as it provides highlights of all outstanding exposures (mortgages) and also some information about those written over the quarter. The data indicates that across all ADIs, 66.7% of the value of […]

Growth in NZ property prices slows

The increase in New Zealand property values has slowed, suggesting restrictions on high debt lending and looming interest rate rises may have prompted buyer caution. Values increased at a 9.6 per cent annual pace in January, lagging December’s 10 per cent rate, according to state valuer Quotable Value (QV). Nationwide values increased 0.3 per cent […]

First-home grants keep young off property ladder

FIRST-HOME owner grants are one of the biggest failures of government policy in the past 50 years, with the extra cash encouraging owners to bump up the selling price, making it harder for the young and those on lower incomes to get a foot on the housing ladder. Leading economist Saul Eslake has attacked the […]

Lending for homes continues to rise in Australia

Lending for new homes in Australia was steady in November 2013 following a strong run over the past year, according to the latest housing finance data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The figures show that there was a 0.9% increase in the total number of owner occupier housing loans. Loans for construction increased […]

Number of first time buyers in UK at its highest since 2009, NAEA data shows

The percentage of first time buyers in the UK purchasing homes has increased to the highest level seen since 2009, however the supply of houses have fallen again, according to the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). Figures from the NAEA November Housing Market Report show a jump in the number of first time buyers […]

Research reveals confusion over Help to Buy among prospective UK buyers

Two months on from the introduction of the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme in the UK there is widespread confusion about the scheme, it is claimed. Of those first time buyers who claim to understand phase two of Help to Buy some 23% wrongly think it is only for new build properties, according to […]

Loans go up a gear but it’s all fragile

A BOOMING residential housing market, particularly in Sydney, is firing up mortgage applications at Australia’s banks, with Westpac to enjoy some of its strongest mortgage applications for several years. Brian Hartzer, head of the bank’s Australian Financial Services division, said the high level of activity was part of an overall strengthening in consumer confidence, and […]

Choose your investment apartment with care

FOR all those with self-managed super funds wanting a good place to store the cash, investment adviser Neil Smoli has two rules for investing in residential apartments. The first one is, don’t buy apartments in the CBD. And the second? Don’t buy more than 10km away from it. Smoli, whose company, Aviate Group, links investors […]

First-home hopes hit by investment wave: Symond

FIRST-HOME buyers are being forced out of the housing market by an investment surge from self-managed super funds and Asian buyers, with government policy off-the-mark at giving people a way into the market, according to Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond. Professor Steven Keen, formerly an economics head at the University of Western Sydney, went […]

Macquarie to take on big four

LENDING: Macquarie Group’s roaring growth in the $1.3 trillion mortgage market will pose a challenge to the banking oligopoly as the investment bank makes a “fundamental shift” in how it uses its capital, according to new analysis. As the property market heats up, research group East & Partners said yesterday Macquarie had been a notable […]

US mortgage market – slow march

Small steps toward rebuilding private market If you think that banking reform has been a disappointment, consider the mortgage market. Five years after the financial crisis, the government is backing nearly all new mortgage loans in the US, primarily through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the housing giants that were taken into government conservatorship […]

Strong housing market fuels dwelling construction

The Reserve Bank’s monetary policy settings are working.  Dwelling values are rising, as should be expected when mortgage rates are at historic lows.  But arguably what is more important is that the renewed level of housing market confidence is showing up in improved development activity and demand for new homes. This is exactly what the […]

RBA warns on debt as urban market heads for a high

SYDNEY’S housing market is expected to break double-digit price growth this year amid concern from the Reserve Bank of Australia that the nation’s home buyers are taking on too much debt to purchase property. RP Data’s head of research Tim Lawless, citing statistics from the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, said Australia was a “fairly leveraged” […]

Housing affordability affecting new home buyers and low income earners the most

The Australian Bureau of Statistics this week released a fascinating set of data; Housing Occupancy and Costs, 2011-12 (see the release here).  The release provides a very thorough overview about housing costs across different regions and age groups, income levels, tenure types and a wide range of other factors. The average (mean) cost of housing […]

City renters wooed with $7000 grant to buy in regions

City renters will be offered $7000 to buy property in rural areas as part of an overhaul of the NSW government’s underperforming regional relocation grant scheme. The Deputy Premier and leader of the Nationals, Andrew Stoner, will announce new rules for the scheme on Wednesday, including a minimum relocation distance of 100 kilometres to end […]

First home beyond reach

THE dream of buying a home for the first time is slipping away in NSW and Queensland. Buyer numbers plummeted 44 per cent in NSW in the year to June and hit an all-time low in Queensland. In Western Australia, new buyers soared to 19,946 — the second highest number on record, according to Australian […]

New Zealand Reserve Bank announces restrictions on mortgage lending for borrowers with less than a 20% deposit

Concerns at the rate of New Zealand house prices growth – and the potential risks that posed to the financial system – has prompted the NZ Reserve Bank to impose restrictions on the loan-to-value ratio (LVR) housing mortgage loans within lending banks from October 1. The banks will need to restrict new lending with LVRs […]

NAB sweetens mortgage offer with $1000 for refinancing

NATIONAL Australia Bank has fired the latest shot in the mortgage war, offering borrowers cash to refinance as the Big Four ready their assault as the property market fires up in spring. NAB, which along with ANZ has been expanding its mortgage book above system rates, said today that it would give $1000 cash to […]

Rate cuts tempting for now but trend will reverse

A RASH of buyers tempted into the housing market by the bottoming of interest rates will become a new generation of struggling mortgagees when the cycle inevitably trends upwards. National Australia Bank chief economist Alan Oster sounded the warning for when official rates rebound in the next two to three years to more traditional levels […]

NAB sweetens mortgage offer with $1000 for refinancing

NATIONAL Australia Bank has fired the latest shot in the mortgage war, offering borrowers cash to refinance as the Big Four ready their assault as the property market fires up in spring. NAB, which along with ANZ has been expanding its mortgage book above system rates, said today that it would give $1000 cash to […]

It’s all win-win for this family

THE Reserve Bank’s decision to cut interest rates yesterday could not have been more timely for Liz and Michael Scerri, who are upsizing from their modest family home in Sydney’s inner-south. The young couple, who have added a son and daughter to their household since buying the three-bedroom Botany home in 2008, hope the 25-basis-point […]

Analysts fear RBA’s rate cuts could fuel property price bubble

RECENT history is laced with central bank actions having unintended consequences and the Reserve Bank’s rate cuts aimed at helping the economy cope with the end of the mining investment boom is causing concern of a looming property price bubble. AFG, the nation’s largest mortgage broker group, yesterday revealed it processed 25 per cent more […]

The destruction and gradual reconstruction of rental yields in Australia

Looking at the historical growth cycle of capital city rents and value growth, it has been quite a rare occurrence for weekly rents to outpace dwelling values for growth.  In fact, since 1996 there have been only two periods where weekly rents significantly outpaced dwelling values.  The first of these occasions was during the GFC […]

Managing Director of Future Estates, Ben Anderson on Housing Affordability

The Australian residential property market, one of the largest markets nationally, has been a main area of growth in the economy over the past few decades. Estimated at A$3.8 trillion over 9.07 million dwellings, it’s sheer size, consistent growth and resilient defiance against the reach of international economic cataclysms has made it an important refuge […]

Lenders return to 100% plus mortgages but there’s a catch…

Lenders are returned to the days of 100% home financing and above, but with the catch that parents with equity in their own homes have to act as guarantors. A 100% loan called the Get Ahead Start Home Loan is being offered by SGE Credit Union and is said to be the first time in three […]

Down, down, interest rates going down in 2013, but will they make a difference?

That annoying Coles jingle “Down, down, prices are down” (was there ever more reason to shop at Woolworths?) could easily be applied to the outlook for the cash rate in 2013 with economists revising their forecasts in expectation of further rate cuts over the course of the next 12 months. The key questions remain how […]

Credit where it’s due to RMBS

We’ve had the mother of all credit rallies in recent months. This means that the value of Australian bonds has appreciated as perceived risks have faded. But one important sector has missed out. This could present investors with opportunities, as the prices of assets with fundamentally similar characteristics converge. First, some background. When you put […]

Borrowers left waiting 10.6 days for a partial rate cuts as banks assert market dominance

Banks’ dominance of the mortgage market – now above 90%  of all home loan approvals – means they have been able to take 10.6 days to pass on RBA cash rate cuts. By contrast, they take 6.8 days to lift mortgage rates when the RBA lifts the cash rate. In addition, research suggests banks have passed on 116% of […]

Banks reluctant to pass on full 25-basis-point rate cut

Bank of Queensland has passed on only 20 out of the 25 basis point rate cut announced by the RBA today, an indication that other banks won’t pass on the full rate cut. The 20-basis-point rate cut brings BOQ’s standard variable rate home loan to 6.71% p.a. effective from Friday, October 19, 2012. “Given the […]

CBA offers cash to lure mortgage customers

Commonwealth Bank of Australia is offering cash to home owners if they switch their mortgage from another lender. The $700 sweetener is available to anyone who dumps their existing bank to take a home loan with CBA. The deal is part of a flurry of ­special offers from lenders as they battle for a dwindling […]

Mystery big four bank Mozo home loan deal no longer available

Mortgage comparison website Mozo has ended its mystery home loan deal, which promised those who signed up a discount of up to 1% off the standard variable rate of a big four bank. The offer, which was launched on September 6, is no longer on the Mozo home page or in the home loan section […]

Twelve of the lowest mortgage rates, fixed and variable, from 5.62%

Property Observer has scoured the most well-known mortgage comparison websites to determine the lowest variable rate home loan and one- and three-year fixed home loans currently available. The following results are based on advertised mortgage rates listed by ratecity.com.au, Mozo.com.au and infochoice.com.au as of September 3: Lowest variable rate offerings: Provider Loan name Rate Comparison rate* UBank (NAB) UHomeloan Refinance 5.62% […]

Property investors dominate NSW August mortgage activity, with first-home buyer strongest in WA: AFG

The AFG mortgage broking group processed more home loans in August than any month since March 2009. The company processed $3,071 million worth of mortgages in August – an increase of 10% on July figures and 7.4% on August 2011. AFG has 10% of the total national mortgage market. The lending data showed that the proportion of new borrowers […]

Mortgage off-set accounts double at NAB but profits disappoint in third-quarter update

NAB reported profit in the three months to June 30 of $1.4 billion, unchanged from what it reported for the same period a year ago and below analysts’ expectations of $1.5 billion. NAB currently also has the lowest standard variable mortgage rate of its big four rivals and has pledged to keep it the lowest […]

NAB surges ahead of big four rivals on owner-occupier mortgage lending since February 2011 ‘break-up’: APRA

In the 17 months since it kicked off its “break-up” campaign on Valentine’s Day last year, NAB has steamed ahead of its big four rivals in providing home loans for owner-occupiers, APRA figures reveal. From February 29, 2011 to June 30, 2012, APRA figures show that NAB has grown its owner-occupier loan book by $22 billion, […]