Alexander: Too early to claim impact on lending

Friday 6 December 2013

Home loan approvals have reached a new post-LVR restriction high, but BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander says it’s too soon to conclude that the rules have not slowed lending growth.

By The Landlord

Lending to the household sector has increased by about 0.4% or 0.5% a month for a year.

Loans issued for the week of November 29 were worth $1.150 billion, up from $1.128 billion the previous week.

But Alexander said the lending data that was coming through was still likely to be represent people using up pre-approvals that had been issued before the LVR rules kicked in.

It was also too early to say for sure that people were becoming hesitant to list their properties because of the new rules, he said. said the 40,046 properties listed for sale at the end of November was 9% down on a year earlier.

Alexander said there was still an underlying growth trend in new listings but it was not strong.  Seasonally-adjusted new listing figures were down 10.6% in November after rising 12.6% in October and falling 5.3% in September.

“Given the volatility between October’s rise and November’s fall I conclude nothing regarding vendor willingness to list following the LVR introduction. Note however that our BNZ-REINZ Residential Market Survey of 250 licensed agents in early-November found just a net 8.4% seeing more requests for appraisals from potential vendors. This was a result below the net 12.7% average so maybe the LVR rules have scared away a handful of potential sellers at the same time as lots of potential buyers have pulled away from the market."

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