RBA Considers Restrictions to Cool Housing Market

Australian central bank officials signaled any measures to cool the nation’s housing market could extend beyond slowing mortgage lending to investors.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is in talks with regulators on “steps that might be taken to reinforce sound lending practices, particularly for investor finance, though not necessarily limited to that,” Assistant Governor Malcolm Edey, and Luci Ellis, head of the RBA’s financial stability unit, said in a statement to lawmakers in Canberra today.

The RBA has indicated increasing concern that the housing market is becoming “unbalanced,” saying last week that home loan approvals to investors are almost 90 percent higher in New South Wales state than two years ago and 50 percent higher in Victoria. While the central bank’s comments have centered around investor lending, it hasn’t yet spelled out what action regulators may take, and Edey said he expects a preliminary announcement before the end of the year.


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