Two majors tighten foreign investor lending restrictions

by NZ Adviser10 Jun 2016
Westpac and ANZ have tightened home loan restrictions similar to moves made in Australia, according to the NZ Herald. 

Westpac New Zealand will no longer lend to non-resident borrowers with overseas income and those looking to borrow who are temporary residents will only be accepted if they hold a New Zealand address and receive a New Zealand-based income.

ANZ has also announced rules that will effectively lock out foreign borrowers, including restricting lending to owner-occupied properties. The restrictions don't affect Kiwis living abroad and buying with overseas income.

Sam Yin, chief executive of HouGarden to the NZ Herald the ANZ and Westpac changes would somewhat dampen buying.

"It will affect some people. They will not buy New Zealand properties. But the numbers of Chinese-based people buying property in New Zealand is low," Yin said, citing the Land Information NZ figures.

Loan Market mortgage broker Bruce Patten also told the paper he wouldn’t be surprised if more banks follow the same track. 
BNZ and ASB have not made any immediate changes on residential mortgage lending to foreign buyers since the Westpac and ANZ moves.

"It's a situation we're constantly monitoring. We've got no changes which will be announced at the moment. We are watching what the banks are doing," a BNZ spokeswoman said.

"ASB keeps its credit criteria under review to reflect current market conditions and, to date, has made no change to the home loan lending policy for non-New Zealand residents," an ASB spokeswoman said.

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