Jonathan Chancellor is one of our authors. Jonathan has been writing about property since the early 1980s and is editor-at-large of Property Observer.

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Jonathan Chancellor

18 September 2015

More invested in lending than we all knew: RBA's Glenn Stevens

More invested in lending than we all knew: RBA's Glenn Stevens

The RBA boss Glenn Stevens was again pressed today on housing affordability, especially for younger people, by some school children.

The issue has been asked at Mr Stevens at past House of Representative's economics committee meetings too.

He also noted it "turns out there was a lot more invested in [property] lending than we all knew in the past."

But he told the House of Representative's economics committee it had been good as economic growth was now slowing.

He also noted unemployment was more important than the ratio of investors/owner occupiers when it comes to housing stability.

He told the hearing the board may not be contemplating any further rate cut saying: "We're pretty content where we are now."

He was also asked about the volatility in the Chinese economy, noting there had been a "fabled hard landing that people have been talking about for years."

When asked on home buyer grants, he noted the solution to high property prices was more supply - not money that ends up with sellers.

Overall inflation was contained and it would take a very sharp fall in the dollar to push inflation up, he suggested.

Last month National Bank of Australia increased the value of mortgages on its investor loan book by nearly $30 billion, after reclassifying data it holds for reporting with the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

NAB reclassified previously reported data, which boosted the value of NAB's housing investor loans to $93 billion from the $66.6 billion previous notification.

Before the revision, NAB's investor loan mortgage book was around the same size of ANZ's investor loan book, at around $60 billion.

The big four institutions hold a combined $430bn worth of investor loans on their books. CBA holds $128 billion, while Westpac has the largest amount of investor loans, worth around $150 billion, according to APRA's latest figures.