Marshall White's Leonard Teplin on the Banking Royal Commission wash up
The recent release of the Banking Royal Commission's final report - which will lead to an overhaul of Australia’s financial services industry - is the latest in a series of events that have impacted the property sector over the last few years.
The slowdown of foreign investors in the residential market, tightened lending conditions and a significant drop in house prices nationally in addition to a loss of consumer confidence have all had a significant impact on the local property market.
All these factors combined have left many uncertain of what lies ahead for the market, particularly in the lead up to the federal election later this year. Urban.com.au asked Leonard Teplin of Marshall White Projects to share his insights into what buyers can expect in 2019 below;
Urban.com.au: What are your observations on the state of the market prior to the release of the Hayne report, particularly with regard to the uncertainty around what the outcomes and recommendations would be?
Leonard Teplin: Late 2018 certainly saw a great deal of trepidation from buyers about what the report would hold and how it would affect their ability to get credit. Some purchasers, in particular first home buyers, have held off on applying for credit until the report findings were announced. However early signs in 2019 show that, downsizers and local investors have increased their rate of enquiry and want to take advantage of low interest rates and stable house prices while they can.
U: Now that the report has been released and a series of recommendations made, what effect will these have on the market? Do you think confidence will return? Will lending become even tighter with more hoops for purchasers to jump through?
LT: Now that the commission has been finalised and the recommendations made, buyers have clearly started to feel more at ease as they start to see some consistency returning to the finance sector. There may be some precariousness ahead of the federal election, this is always the case pre-election, but we have already seen confidence begin to build back up and it will continue to do so in the coming months.
In terms of lending I don’t think there’s any more hoops purchasers can jump through, and the commissioner was cognisant of this by not making the recommendation for further lending restrictions. If anything I think the recommendation to implement a regulator that oversees APRA will see it loosen its control over banks and we will hopefully see a softening of restrictions later in the year.
U: How much do you think the upcoming Federal election and both parties' policies will focus around the recommendations from the report?
LT: It would be political suicide for either party to go against the recommendations of the report, and given the current state of the market and all the changes that have occurred over the past few years there’s no doubt it will be a platform of the election for both parties. Affordability, housing supply, liveability and credit supply are the main issues on many people’s minds at the moment, and each party will need to address these concerns.
U: Which cross-section of the market do you think will most benefit from the banking shake up?
LT: Hopefully we will start to see local investors and second home buyers start to secure credit more easily, which will in turn decrease the pressure on the rental market by providing more supply. Until now this sector has been scrutinised by banks and passed up in favour of first home buyers or wealthy downsizers, which has seen a huge gap in the market and a decrease in supply that caters to this integral middle market.
U: Looking ahead what are your predictions over the next 12 months for the market?
LT: We will start to see a return to the norm as confidence from buyers continues to firm, which will be accompanied by more buying activity and a steady (if minimal) increase in house prices. Savvy developers will continue to focus on lifestyle-driven projects that provide buyers an all-inclusive living experience with retail and hospitality venues either incorporated within the building or close by. There will also be an increase in developers looking outside the residential market with a rise in retirement and independent living.