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Mortgage broker heads say 'no' to new lending rules

by Nick Bendel5 minute read

Mortgage Choice and Finsure have seized on new home value statistics to tell the regulators not to intervene in the housing market.

The Reserve Bank of Australia announced last month that new lending rules would be introduced, partly because an investor boom in Sydney and Melbourne has distorted the property market.

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However, prices in half of Australia's eight capital cities went backwards during the three months to 31 October 2014, according to RP Data.

That included falls of 2.8 per cent in Hobart, 2.4 per cent in Canberra, 1.7 per cent in Darwin and 0.2 per cent in Perth.


The other four capitals recorded price gains: 3.9 per cent in Sydney, 2.1 per cent in Adelaide, 1.9 per cent in Melbourne and 1.3 per cent in Brisbane.

Five capitals also recorded monthly price falls, with only Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane experiencing rising values for October.

Mortgage Choice chief executive Michael Russell said the slowdown in dwelling values shows macroprudential intervention is unnecessary because the market is correcting itself.

Mr Russell said the best way to slow price growth is to increase the supply of affordable housing.

"Like most participants in this industry, we are acutely aware of the time delays and costs associated in bringing affordable housing to market and believe this is an inflationary element that can be curtailed if the powers to be seriously wish to tackle it," he said.

The Housing Industry Association said earlier this week that Australia needs 180,000 new dwellings each year – but that construction levels appear to have fallen below that figure.

Finsure managing director John Kolenda pointed to falling property prices and unintended economic consequences as reasons why the authorities shouldn't introduce new lending rules.

Mr Kolenda told The Adviser that any attempt to slow the investor markets in Sydney and Melbourne would likely lead to "far-reaching" economic problems in the rest of the country.

He also said the strong price growth that has been occurring in Sydney has partly been a correction.

"People forget that Sydney was in the doldrums for five to seven years, so it's now having a rebound," Mr Kolenda said.

[Related: Brokers speak out against 'artificial intervention' in lending rules]

Mortgage broker heads say 'no' to new lending rules
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