Banks insisting on 30% deposit for property buyers in Gladstone and other Queensland mining towns

Banks insisting on 30% deposit for property buyers in Gladstone and other Queensland mining towns
Banks insisting on 30% deposit for property buyers in Gladstone and other Queensland mining towns

Gladstone buyers - home buyers and investors - have been told by the ANZ bank that they will need a 30% deposit given the property market remains quite volatile. 

Other towns reportedly where the higher deposit classification has changed include Roma, Miles, Chinchilla, Blackwater, Rolleston, Cracow and Dysart.

According to mortgage broker Greg Hill, the ANZ in particular has taken a conservative position in funding to towns like Gladstone, and many other smaller towns, "they have classified, for want of a better word, as mining towns."

"The ANZ don't stand alone as Gladstone does also appear on restricted postcode lists with a number of other lenders, and changing policies across the lenders brought on by this increased scrutiny of Australian Prudential Regulation Authority is not simply limited to lending limits."

A borrower quoted by the Gladstone Observer in its extensive coverage noted only two of the four major banks were interested in borrowers with 20% deposits - National Australia Bank and Commonwealth Bank.

With house prices in Gladstone sitting at around $346,000, the average buyer would need a deposit of just over $100,000.

An ANZ spokesperson told the local paper the change reflected the localised downturn in Gladstone because it was dependent on the mining sector.

Gladstone Home Loans mortgage broker Peter Miller said Gladstone was not a mining town.

"Thousands of people work in industry. Gladstone is self-reliant, it doesn't need mining.

"Mackay is more of a mining town and it's not on the list."

In 2011 the central Queensland coastal town of Gladstone, 550 kilometres north of Brisbane, emerged as a property investment hotspot as vacancy rates tumbled in Gladstone, falling from 4.1% in March 2010 to just 1.4% in 2011, and rents have gone up for all categories of housing.

According to the July 2011 Herron Todd White report, “soaring rents [in Gladstone] are still attracting investors into the market, with very good yields currently available”.

“The Gladstone residential market continues to perform strongly with values still climbing, and heightened activity due to the announcement of major LNG projects in October 2010 and January 2011,” the report says.

“Modern properties are still in high demand and are obtaining the best yields, especially when furnished. There are still opportunities to make a profit in the construction of new dwellings, with end values generally exceeding the total of construction and land costs.”

The latest June 2015 vacancy rate data from the REIQ revealed regional Queensland struggles following the resources downturn but with the claim some of the hardest hit towns are entering a stabilisation phase.

"We can see those towns, where employment rates are stronger and opportunities are greater, that the rental market is recovering more quickly. The State Government has announced a range of regional infrastructure projects in its recent budget and these will doubtless impact on the vacancy rates in the coming quarters," REIQ CEO Antonia Mercorella said.

The Gladstone vacancy rates sits at a high 5.2%.


Click to enlarge

Banks insisting on 30% deposit for property buyers in Gladstone and other Queensland mining towns

The REIQ classifies vacancy rates of 2.5% or below as tight and rates of 2.5% to 3.5% as healthy. Vacancy rates of 3.6 per cent or above is classed as a weak market. 

Banks periodically have flagged Queensland and Western Australian localities as ‘high risk’ due to their single industry basis. 

In 2011 the suburbs they had placed on the list were:

• Blackwater (4714)

• Moranbah (4744)

• Dysart (4745)

• Middlemount and May Downs in the Isaac region (4746)

And in Western Australia:

• Roebourne (including Karratha, Baynton, Bulgarra and Pegs Creek, 6714)

• Port Hedland (including South Hedland, 6721)

• East Pilbara (6753)


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.

Queensland Mining

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