John Symond fears APRA's crackdown leaves unlevel playing field

John Symond fears APRA's crackdown leaves unlevel playing field
John Symond fears APRA's crackdown leaves unlevel playing field

Aussie Home Loans founder John Symond has repeated his concern that APRA's clampdown on lending to local housing investors may be giving foreign investors an advantage in the market.

John Symond suggested the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority's 10% a year cap on housing investor credit growth was having no impact on foreigners buying property.

"I'm not for one minute saying you know, shoo our foreign investors away, this country survives on foreign investment," he told a parliamentary inquiry in Sydney last week.

He first raised concerns in May.

"But you've got to have a level playing field, and if you have a look at the amount of foreign investment that has come in and bought up housing, particularly in cities like Sydney and Melbourne over the last 24 months. I know, as far as Asia, the numbers I've seen, has more than doubled,"  he said.

"Now they don't have any APRA restrictions, because they don't toddle off to a bank or a building society and borrow their money."

APRA has defended recent efforts to slow down lending to investors to the federal government inquiry into home ownership, the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into Home Ownership.

But the APRA chairman Wayne Byers said the full effect would not be felt for some time, especially how the crackdown affects the balance between major and non-major lenders.

“Given implementation is still 11 months away, it is too early to assess the impact of this change on the housing loan market.  

“The extent to which those banks are capable of repricing their business in response will provide an interesting insight into the extent to which the largest banks are subject to competitive pressure from the range of other housing lenders present in the market.”

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of Australia's most respected property journalists, having been at the top of the game since the early 1980s. Jonathan co-founded the property industry website Property Observer and has written for national and international publications.

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