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Reserve Bank could target investors

Macroprudential tools could be used to target residential property investors, the Reserve Bank says in its latest Bulletin.

Lamorna Rogers writes that the Reserve Bank is improving its capacity for targeted interventions.

“New data collections are being put in place which will provide breakdowns of housing lending by categories such as investors, first-home buyers and businesses.”

She said that sectoral capital requirements or loan-to-value restrictions could be used specifically on “problem sectors”, such as investors.

“The decision to restrict banks’ high-LVR housing lending reflects heightened concerns about the rate at which house prices are increasing and the potential risks this poses to the financial system and the broader economy. Rapidly increasing house prices increase the likelihood and the potential impact of a significant fall in house prices at some point in the future.”

She said the Reserve Bank was aware that some banks might create products with the aim of getting around next month’s speed limits and it was talking to them about what might be deemed “avoidance”. “[It] expects bank senior management and bank boards to respect the spirit and intent of the LVR restrictions.”

Macroprudential tools were not a “set and forget” thing, she said. The bank would be continually monitoring their effect.

Tags: lamorna rogers


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