September 2016's Property Gazette

Understanding New Loan to Value Ratio Changes

Recently the Reserve Bank (RBNZ) has tweaked NZ’s Loan to Value Ratio in an effort to stop rising property prices. As a result, they have set in motion a few new directives for banks which are compulsory from 1st September 2016. Other lending institutions such as credit unions are not affected.

Loan to Value Ratios and What They Mean

Loan to Value Ratio or LVR, is the percentage of money a bank will lend based upon the value of the residential property. A high VLR is being discouraged by the RBNZ for both owner-occupied and investment properties, in an effort to slow the housing market. That means:

  • Only 10% of the bank’s residential mortgage lending for owner-occupied properties within NZ, are allowed to have an LVR greater than 80%. This means that a deposit of at least 20% is required by the majority of buyers.
  • Only 5% of a bank’s lending for investment properties within NZ can have an LVR above 60%. This means investors now need to have at least a 40% deposit to buy a new residential property.

There are some exemptions to the LVR changes, where a lender may allow a higher LVR for a property, including the construction of a new property or a short term bridging loan. We are more than happy to chat with you and see if your plans qualify for an LVR exemption.

Get a Low Deposit Home with a Mortgage Broker

One of the key advantages of using a Mortgage Broker is that we are not a bank. We don’t make decisions about who can or can’t have a mortgage. Rather, we work for you and help you to get the right mortgage for your situation and often at a lower than advertised rate. This is also true for buyers who have less than the required 20% or 40% deposit to buy a home.

As we work with banks and other lenders every day, we know which ones are willing to lend on lower deposits and which aren’t. We approach those lenders on your behalf and explain why your mortgage should be approved. Occasionally a high LVR loan adds a low equity premium or low deposit insurance to your mortgage. If this is the case, we may also be able to negotiate a lower rate for you.

Finally, we are also able to help you get your foot on the property ladder with a low deposit home loan if you meet criteria for either the Welcome Home Loan, First Home Buyers Subsidy or use savings from your Kiwi Saver. You can find out more about the assistance for owner-occupied buyers with less than 20% deposit here. We also have a free First Home Buyers guide, which is proving exceptionally popular with our clients.

If you would like to discuss how the LVR changes affect you, or start applying for a new mortgage, contact one of our friendly Mortgage Brokers today. Remember, we work for you and our services are always free.

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