All Topics / General Property / Banks discriminating against property investors

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  • Profile photo of moxi10moxi10
    Join Date: 2010
    Post Count: 194

    I’m posting here in the hopes of gaining support to lobby the banks and the Federal Government to cease the discriminatory practice of charging higher interest rates on loans made for investment properties. Please join me in sending this letter to Banks, Members of Parliament, Real Estate agents, Newspapers and anywhere else which might be effective. Feel free to change some of the wording, sign your own name, whatever it takes, just spread the word!

    In 2017 the Federal Government allowed banks to begin to charge higher interest rates to property investors and interest only borrowers. This was in response to the perceived increase in housing prices primarily in Sydney and Melbourne as a result of investor activity. The banks were given approval to charge these higher interest rates as a deterrent to further investor activity in those markets with the aim of reducing investor demand, and reducing pressure on property prices in those markets. Unfortunately this blunt tool was also used against investors in all property markets in Australia, even the many areas where investor demand was lacking, and no advantage was to be gained by anyone other than the banks, who benefited from the higher payments which property investors were required to pay on their mortgages. This unwarranted discrimination against property investors has continued to date, in spite of the fact that the previous “bubbles” in the Melbourne and Sydney markets have deflated.
    Far worse than the initial imposition which property investors in general suffered from the introduction of this policy was the fact that the banks were allowed to apply this policy to investor loans which existed prior to the introduction of the new discriminatory rate increases. The banks took advantage of this opportunity by increasing rates charged on all property investor loans, even those which had been on their books for years. The investors who held these mortgages had no opportunity to factor these higher rates into their calculations when making decisions to invest, as at the time of their property purchases their interest rates were calculated fairly and equitably based on the system which presided at the time of their purchase, which did not discriminate against property investors. Increasing the interest rates charged on these pre-existing loans served no purpose other than further enriching the banks at the expense of property investors.
    The result of the decision to allow the banks to discriminate against investors purchasing properties has been a burden of increased payments on mortgages by property investors right across Australia, a heavy burden which has caused many investors to struggle to meet their mortgage payments, while the only advantage gained has been by the banks who continue to charge these higher rates to all real estate investors, in spite of the fact that the original justification for doing so no longer applies.
    Even in circumstances of normal environment and economic conditions, these discriminatory practices against property investors should have ceased. Now, in particular, with the economic conditions in Australia deteriorating rapidly as the the world and Australia have tipped over a cliff leading to recession, these draconian and discriminatory measures have no place. It is highly probable that property investors in Australia face a near term future of dropping, potentially plunging, house prices and rental returns as unemployment and uncertainty in the economy grow rapidly. As the yields deteriorate on their investments, property investors will struggle even harder with their loan repayments, and many are likely to default and be forced into liquidation. As Federal and state governments are currently in crisis management, urgently developing plans to save and stimulate the economy, it is also urgent that they address this situation, by repealing laws and guidelines which allow banks to discriminate against property investors by charging higher interest rates on property investor loans.
    The Covid 19 virus crisis has created a situation which has prompted the Federal Government to call on landlords to drop rents on their properties, and the government is considering laws which allow tenants to remain in occupancy for up to twelve months without paying rent. Landlords, who supply vital rental accommodation, are as vulnerable to the developing economic crisis as are the tenants who occupy their properties. In this current economic crisis it is more important than ever that the discriminatory practice of banks charging higher interest rates on investor home loans must end immediately.

    Tony Baldridge

    Profile photo of Steve McKnightSteve McKnight
    Join Date: 2001
    Post Count: 1,763

    Worth a try Tony, and I wish you all the best. Sadly, I think I can hear the sound of silence from here though.

    I wrote to my local member, Josh F – the Treasurer – about my concerns with the NCMCC, and his reply – more than a month later – was stock standard “refer to the legislation”. Slightly more than useless.

    I think your better option is to lobby someone like the Property Council of Australia to take up the cause. They have professional lobbists and links into government. A petition is usually a ‘notice me’ alert, but doesn’t carry much weight as they tend to be fractous in nature rather than united.

    It seems to be that governments have made property owners the sacrificial lambs to preserve tenants (voter base) and big business (donation base).

    – Steve

    Steve McKnight | Pty Ltd | CEO

    Success comes from doing things differently

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