Bank eyeing SMSF property investment in Sydney
One of Australia’s biggest non-major banks has said it is eyeing Sydney property investment hotspots and monitoring patterns such as SMSF investment activity.
St. George Bank named the Sydney suburbs it is currently monitoring after experiencing significant volumes of home lending to residential property investors.
Rob Love, St. George Bank’s head of credit, said the Sydney suburbs of Rhodes, Ryde, Epping and Eastwood are “real areas of interest”.
Mr Love named the Sydney suburbs in a speech at the St. George Bank Flame Forum 2015, where his presentation included an internal ring in the western suburbs and a broader ring around the areas mentioned above.
One postcode highlighted in the presentation was 2137, which includes the areas of Breakfast Point, Cabarita, Concord, Mortlake and North Strathfield.
“If you had a very high LVR investment property loan in that postcode, it is probably a group of loans we would want to monitor over a period of time,” Mr Love said.
“We are very interested in the volume of business that has been written in that area and we want to make sure we are writing to the right quality of customer going forward.”
Rather than stopping lending in these areas, Mr Love stressed that the bank highlighted them for monitoring reasons to track their performance from a credit perspective.
“It is from a monitoring perspective to see how they perform. Looking at things like what is that group of customers’ pre-payment rate compared to Sydney and across the board? We are certainly not saying we are going to slow lending in those geographies. It’s an area of interest.”
While St. George is unlikely to implement credit policy at a postcode level, Mr Love said the suburb analysis could help the bank understand more specific market trends.
“If there are more SMSF properties being purchased in particular areas, or if non-resident lending is driving unit sales, for example,” he said.