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

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news