In November 2021, the Reserve Bank imposed more restrictions on banks in respect of their lending in order to help curb the rapid rise in house prices in the previous few years. This caused difficulty for potential borrowers (both owner occupiers and investors) to obtain finance.
Eighteen months on, the Reserve Bank has eased the previous restrictions on bank lending to lower equity borrowers and investors. The easing measures took effect from 1 June 2023.
Previously, banks could only allocate up to 10% of their total lending towards owner occupiers with a loan to value (LVR) ratio of less than 80%. The 1 June changes saw this increase from 10% to up to 15%. This means that banks now have more funds available for borrowers with smaller deposits.
With national house prices falling around 17% since the November 2021 LVR restrictions took effect, the Reserve Bank believes that the risks that prompted the tightening on bank lending to low equity buyers have reduced.
This is good news for first home buyers who may not be able to save a 20% deposit despite being in a position to service the loans required to enter the property market.
The increase in availability of loan funds for low equity borrowers, the increases to FHG price caps and a general easing of the property market could be signalling a turning of the tide for buyers.
To see how you may be able to take advantage of these market factors and get onto the property ladder, contact us or your lender to understand what assistance or options could work for you.