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RBA says No Housing Crisis Here

Posted by Tamara McDowell on June 9, 2010

Speaking on recent developments in the housing market the RBA’s Head of Financial Stability, Luci Ellis recently stated that any housing collapse like that seen in the US at the start of the global financial crisis is unlikely to occur in Australia.

Ellis notes that if the current benign picture of the financing of the housing market is to continue it is crucial that lending standards in the mortgage market remain prudent.

“Past experience has clearly shown that in the long run, you don’t improve housing affordability by easing lending standards. That just gets capitalised in the price.

“In fact, easing mortgage lending standards too far can be outright damaging to long-run affordability. This has been amply demonstrated in the recent United States housing meltdown,” Ellis said.

In Australia, lending standards never eased that far, and conditions didn’t get that grim.

Ellis notes that first-home buyers have long faced greater risk than more established home owners who have more equity in their homes. She states that there appears to have not been a drop in lending standards to first-time buyers, even when the First Home Owners Boost was in effect.

“Indeed, across the mortgage market as a whole, lending standards are a little tighter than they were a couple of years ago,” says Ellis.

In summary Ellis said that the global economic slump may still have a way to go and with consumer confidence still low financial conditions could remain tight for several years.

Mortgage holders should expect then, that current lending criteria will remain in force – which generally means borrowers will be required to provide a minimum deposit of  5 per cent as well as provide evidence that genuine savings forms part of that deposit.

Borrowers who require assistance finding a home loan, or who are looking for a low deposit option, should talk to a good mortgage broker for assistance.

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