Are investors driving up NZ property prices?

  • 08/06/2016

Property investors often have the finger pointed at them for the spiralling house prices in and around Auckland.

The Reserve Bank has made it harder for investors, requiring them to have a higher deposit than owner-occupiers.

However, Newshub has found that while investors here pay the same interest rates as everybody else, it's a different story in Australia.

Financial ratings company Canstar says investors have to pay a higher rate.

It says there's a difference of 0.25 percent for floating rates, with the average owner-occupier paying 4.44 percent and the average investor paying 4.69 percent.

For the fixed terms the difference between the rates varies from 0.21 percent for the one-year fixed rate to 0.18 percent for the five-year fixed rate.

The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority told the banks late in 2014 that growth in loans to property investors shouldn't exceed 10 percent of their portfolio.

It also stepped up the requirements for the amount of capital the banks have to hold against those investor loans.

Why? To reinforce sound lending practices in an era of low interest rates and high levels of household debt.

In New Zealand investors pay the same rates as everyone else.

Independent economist Shamubeel Eaqub said there isn't any regulation to stop banks charging more. However, given investors do have to provide higher deposits and can't trade houses within two years without incurring tax, he says he can't see banks being keen to do this.

However, there are signs some the banks are toughening their stance.  ANZ has just announced it has stopped lending to investors who want to buy sections and apartments off the plans.

Watch the video.