Monday 26 September 2016 03:31 PM
Auckland property investor lending tumbles 18% in August as restrictions bite
By Edwin Mitson
Sept. 26 (BusinessDesk) - Lending to property investors buying homes in Auckland fell 18 percent in August after the Reserve Bank imposed new lending restrictions in July.
Central bank data show lending to investors in New Zealand's biggest city fell to $1.31 billion in August from $1.59 billion in July. It's the lowest month for lending to Auckland investors since January when $973 million was committed by the banks as an earlier round of loan restrictions dampened interest in the market for a couple of months.
Still, the impact of the restrictions hasn’t had as much impact as the first round of Auckland-specific restrictions. Between December 2015 and January 2016, lending to Auckland investors fell to $973 million from $1.33 billion, a drop of 27 percent.
The changes announced by the Reserve Bank in July capped bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restored the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent. The restrictions were also targeted nationwide following house price booms in places like Hamilton and Tauranga. All the major banks adopted the restrictions early, although they technically don't come into force until the beginning of October.
Lending to owner occupiers in Auckland fell to $1.86 billion in August from $1.88 billion in the month earlier, the lowest amount since February 2016.
Commitments to people buying homes outside Auckland rose to $2.94 billion from $2.84 billion in July.
Total lending declined to $6.11 billion in August from $6.31 billion the month before, a fall of 3.1 percent.