More business for non-banks as investor lending rules tighten

Non-bank lenders expect a boost in business as property investors look outside the box as banks adhere to the Reserve Bank’s newly proposed LVR restrictions.

More business for non-banks as investor lending rules tighten
Non-bank lenders are likely to be one of those to benefit from the Reserve Bank’s proposed changes to restrict loan-to-value ratios for investor loans, according to the NZ Herald.
The proposed changes due to take effect in September would restrict banks to only allow 5% of lending to go to investors with less than 40% deposit and 10% of lending to owner-occupiers with deposits lowers than 20%. 

Resimac Financial Services experienced increased business after the RBNZ introduced restrictions on high LVR mortgage lending in late 2013.

New Zealand general manager Adrienne Church told the NZ Herald, "People are seeing it as an opportunity in the market.

"It's cyclical - it always is. That's why people came to market and why they left the market."

Liberty Financial expects to see “significance growth” as a result of the latest restrictions

"It certainly is going to increase the amount of business going through non-banks, that almost goes without saying," Chief executive Mark Collins told the NZ Herald.  

"We're coming off a very low base, so we know even if the whole sector increases quite dramatically it's a very small amount of the market still."

Collins said the tighter mortgage rules for investors was a "very strong message" and he anticipates investors with multiple properties will react by scaling back their portfolios. 

But the restrictions likely won't affect all investors the same as  Harcourts CEO Chris Kennedy says he anticipates they will affect a certain kind of investor.

“Most seasoned investors have good equity in their investments and a residual pool of money they can access," said Kennedy.

"They will still be able to meet the 40% deposit threshold. The rules will impact upon, for example, a young couple who cannot afford to buy in Auckland and want to purchase a property in Huntly – not to live in, but to rent.”

Kennedy says ultimately the Reserve Bank is limited in the practical impact it can have on the property market. It can tinker with some of the wider economic parameters operating in the background, but the core issue remains -  there are not enough houses.

“Instead of relying on the Reserve Bank to control the property market central government needs to take action. It’s recent announcement of a $1 billion fund to fast-track infrastructure development by councils with high demand for new housing is a step in the right direction. 

“But we need more. Incentives and fast-tracked process to promote intensive, affordable housing developments are needed and they’re needed now.