The non-major lender has informed brokers that it will be introducing new construction features to its home loan offerings.
Macquarie Bank has announced that construction features will be added to its basic and offset home loans.
For new home loans submitted from 22 July 2019, borrowers will have access to extra features during the construction period, which include:
However, Macquarie noted that while a facility can have multiple loan accounts, only one can be nominated as the construction account.
Further, the bank told brokers that if the purchase or refinance amount is greater than the construction amount, brokers will be required to split the construction amount into a separate loan account.
Macquarie slashes interest rate floor
In the same communication to brokers, Macquarie also announced that it has cut its interest rate floor for home loan serviceability assessments to 5.3 per cent, down from 7.26 per cent, and has increased its buffer rate to 2.5 per cent, up from 2.25 per cent.
Macquarie’s revisions are effective for new home loan applications from today (17 July).
Suncorp Bank has also revealed to Mortgage Business that it will be cutting its interest rate floor from 7.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent and increasing its buffer from 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
In a statement, a Suncorp spokesperson said: “This change will deliver positive benefits for customers wanting to enter the property market.
“As always, we encourage aspirational home owners to do their homework, ask questions of their broker or bank and have a clear understanding of what they can afford to repay each month.”
The changes have come off the back of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority’s (APRA) amendments to its home lending guidance.
Earlier this month, the prudential regulator finalised its proposal to scrap the 7 per cent interest rate floor for mortgage assessments and increase the buffer rate to 2.5 per cent.
ANZ has slashed its interest rate floor from 7.25 per cent to 5.5 per cent (effective from 15 July), while Westpac Group – which includes its subsidiaries Bank of Melbourne, BankSA and St George Bank – has lowered its rate floor from 7.25 per cent to 5.75 per cent (effective from 16 July).
Both ANZ and Westpac also increased their interest rate buffers from 2.25 per cent to 2.5 per cent.
Other lenders are expected to follow suit, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, NAB and AMP informing The Adviser’s sister publication, Mortgage Business, that they’re currently in the process of reviewing their assessment rates.
Non-bank lender Resimac, which, along with the rest of the non-bank sector, is not formally bound by APRA’s guidance, has also confirmed that it is reviewing its policy.
[Related: New lender joins Mortgage Choice’s panel]
Charbel Kadib is a journalist on the mortgages titles at Momentum Media.
Before joining the team in 2017, Charbel held roles with public relations agency Fifty Acres, and the Department of Communications and the Arts.
Charbel graduated from the University of Notre Dame Australia with a Bachelor of Arts (Politics & Journalism).
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