Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


S&P warns of risk NZ property market over-heating

Standard and Poor's warns against NZ property market over-heating

Feb. 28 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's banking system is at risk from property prices overheating if the country's exports stop being worth so much or the kiwi dollar falls out of bed, says the international credit rating agency, Standard & Poor's.

S&P issued a report on the New Zealand banking sector saying "significant risk remains of a sharp correction in property prices."

The rating agency, which assesses country and business credit-worthiness, noted the recent jump in Auckland and Christchurch property prices and suggested New Zealand is still vulnerable because of the run-ups in value seen in the mid-2000's, before the global financial crisis, let alone the latest appreciations.

On balance, S&P thinks these risks are unlikely to be borne out, saying "we expect that strong asset quality ratios are likely to be maintained at levels supportive of banks' current ratings, on the back of a benign economic outlook and stable property prices."

It also predicts that property prices won't rise much from where they are now, even if the New Zealand economy stays on an even keel.

"Our base case scenario sees real estate prices continuing to stabilise at current levels over the medium term, and such an occurrence having a stabilising effect on asset-quality ratios."

In part, that outcome will depend on the state of the world economy, S&P says. With New Zealand banks funding about 37 percent of their lending from sources offshore, the country remains vulnerable should global financial markets seize up in another crisis.

However, S&P warns about a scenario where the world economy strikes trouble and the New Zealand dollar, along with export prices, falls sharply.

"In our view, such a scenario, in conjunction with a rise in unemployment, could increase the risk of a significant in banks' credit losses on the back of a build-up in housing prices and domestic credit over the period that preceded the global financial crisis."

Such a turn of events "would have a material impact on the financial strength of the balance sheets of New Zealand banks", although the four largest banks are all subsidiaries of Australian banks and retain their owners' AA-minus credit ratings.

New Zealand-owned Kiwibank is rated A+, while The Co-operative Bank and Heartland Bank carry BBB-minus rates., TSB Bank is slightly stronger, with a BBB-plus rating.

S&P's assessment comes at a time of growing government concern about a pick-up in residential housing prices, which is worsening New Zealand's housing affordability problem.

Finance Minister Bill English used a speech yesterday to outline the government's desire to see the Reserve Bank of New Zealand use new macro-prudential tools to control banks' lending and capital adequacy ratios.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Scoop Business: NZ Wool Exports Jump To The Highest In More Than A Decade

New Zealand wool exports jumped to their highest level in more than a decade in June, aided by a lower currency and strong demand from China, the nation’s largest market. More>>

ALSO:

Surreal Estate: Home Values Rise At Fastest Rate In Seven Years

The latest monthly QV House Price Index shows that nationwide residential property values for July have increased 10.1% over the past year which is the fastest annual rate since 2007... The Auckland market has increased 18.8% year on year. More>>

ALSO:

New Employment Laws: Talley’s AFFCO Workers To Strike

The decision comes after the Talley’s owned company walked away from mediation last week and applied to end bargaining under the government’s new employment laws - the first such application since the law came into effect. More>>

ALSO:

Private Action: Employer Pleads Guilty Over Forestry Death

The CTU has always known that the death of forestry worker Charles Finlay was due to the poor health and safety practices of his employer... "The CTU, with the support of Charles’s family, needed to take this ground breaking private prosecution." More>>

ICT Innovation: Six NZ Finalists In World Summit Awards

The awards are a global showcase of 40 projects, across eight categories, with a special emphasis on those which show the benefits of information and communication technology for the development of communities. New Zealand has finalists in six of the eight categories. More>>

ALSO:

Final Frontier: Rocket Lab And NASA Sign Commercial Space Launch Agreement

Rocket Lab has signed a Commercial Space Launch Act Agreement with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The agreement enables Rocket Lab to use NASA resources - including personnel, facilities and equipment - for launch and reentry efforts. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news