RBA detects slower growth of housing prices in investor localities compared with owner occupier suburbs

RBA detects slower growth of housing prices in investor localities compared with owner occupier suburbs
RBA detects slower growth of housing prices in investor localities compared with owner occupier suburbs

The RBA has suggested relatively few borrowers have been constrained by the tightening in lending standards that had reduced maximum loan sizes to date.

It was because most borrowers took out a loan that was substantially smaller than the maximum loan that lenders were prepared to offer.

"Three-quarters of borrowers had taken out loans that were less than 80 per cent of their maximum borrowing capacity based on serviceability considerations," the latest RBA minutes noted.

The board suggested the two quantitative policy measures that had been implemented in previous years – namely, the investor and interest-only benchmarks – were judged to have been effective in reducing the specific risks they targeted.

"The rate of growth in lending to investors had declined and remained well below 10 per cent per annum, and the share of interest-only loans in new housing lending had fallen from around 40 per cent to 15 per cent.

"The share of interest-only loans in the stock of outstanding loans had also declined, in large part because lenders had increased interest rates on existing interest-only loans."

Members discussed quantitative analysis undertaken by Reserve Bank staff, which showed that the investor benchmark imposed in 2014 had led to a change in the composition of new lending for housing.

"In particular, the investor benchmark had resulted in lending to investors growing more slowly but lending to owner-occupiers growing more quickly, with no discernible change in new housing lending in aggregate at the time.

"Additional analysis indicated that over the preceding few years, the investor benchmark had resulted in slower growth of housing prices in locations with a high share of investors, relative to locations with a low share of investors.

"While slower growth in housing prices had not been the objective of the policy measures, members noted that the analysis suggested around two-thirds of the difference in growth in housing prices between these regions in recent years could be attributed to the prudential measures."

To read the full minutes click here.

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor

Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Meeting Minutes Rba Insights

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