Bank urged to publish building blacklist

Bank urged to publish building blacklist
Bank urged to publish building blacklist

Though none of the major banks will own up to creating the leaked buildings “blacklist”, bloggers have urged the unnamed bank to publish the list of more than 370 buildings. 

Westpac says it does not have a blacklist but judges applications on a case-by-case scenario. 

The Commonwealth Bank says it has a “watchlist” of developments that require extra care for credit and valuations but does not have a blacklist of buildings it will not finance in Victoria or elsewhere. 

NAB says it does not have a blacklist and judges each case on its merits. 

ANZ also denied keeping a blacklist.

"We don't keep a blacklist of properties. Lending for property is assessed on a case-by-case basis and is dependent on a number of factors, including how the loan will be serviced, the level of equity the customer has, the value of the asset for which the loan is used, as well as the resale value of the property," a bank spokesperson says.

The general response from bloggers and those on Twitter has been extremely positive, with the banks complimented for their prudent approach and for making it harder for developers to sell dodgy projects. 

The list of 373 apartment projects was leaked to The Age by mortgage brokers, but the newspaper said it was unable to publish the list for legal reasons. Mortgage brokers have said their services are more important than ever. 

“It would be good if some public-spirited person would get hold of the bank lists and publish them so the hoi polloi would know what to avoid,” commented EDwardKelly on The Age’s website.

“The only problem I have with this approach is that the lists aren't publicly available. Sounds like a sensible approach to me, protects the consumer (but only if they aren't already locked in) as well as the bank, so why not go one step better and get the information out there for all to see so people don't get caught out?” commented another reader.

“What bothers me about this is the large number of people within the cone of silence that have access to this list and know not to go near the place, but there will still be real estate agents trying to sell the apartments to poor sods out there without this crucial info,” added another concerned reader.

Some of the blacklisted projects part of the government's National Rental Affordability Scheme, which has drawn the ire of charity group Mission Australia.

On Twitter, Steve Kenna from buyers and sellers agents The Real Estate Helpers said news of the list was “good information for agents selling apartments or buyers looking at buying one”.

Gemma from Sydney commented that it was about time that “shoddy developers were called out”. 

“Sure, people need housing and in their rush to secure a place will try and buy anything no matter how badly made or ugly. The banks are doing them a favour. But how to sort out the fact that only the wealthy can now live in the city? Everyone who works there or around there has to commute because they are being pushed further and further out,” she commented.

“Good on banks,” said a reader from Sydney.  “If you go to Pymble (in Sydney), there are so many new buildings just dumped along the Pacific Highway, while the traffic is getting worse and worse. Most of these new apartments are unaffordable.”

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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