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Will home owners consider the non-bank sector as major banks increase lending rates? Reuters/David Gray

Rising mortgage rates - is it time to refinance your home loan?

Last week, Westpac hoisted its lending rate by 20 basis points in a bid to recover the costs of recent capital raisings. There is speculation other banks will follow. Australia’s non-bank lenders could…
Are loans guaranteed by parents adding unnecessary risk to the market? Julien Tromeur/Shutterstock

The problems with relying on the bank of mum and dad

First home buyers looking to break into the housing market are turning to their parents, but it's not a risk-free proposition for either party.
Lending standards are so tight that even former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, center, who until recently was one of the most powerful people in the world, can’t refinance his mortgage. Reuters

Ben Bernanke among borrowers paying the price for knee-jerk home loan rules

It’s clear mortgage standards have gotten too tight when even a former Federal Reserve chairman who makes as much as US$250,000 per speech cannot refinance his home. Ben Bernanke complained about his inability…
Dealing with housing bubbles can get messy for central banks. Shutterstock

Home loan limits and buffers won’t stop a housing bubble

Australia’s central bank has formally flagged the use of macroprudential tools to address what it called “unbalanced” lending in its most recent Financial Stability Review. Loan-to-valuation ratio (LVR…
Greater asset diversification would help Australian banks lock in a buffer for future downturns. Joel Carrett/Flickr

Australian banks are too exposed to mortgages, but what if the world was flat?

One of the issues currently being considered by Australia’s Financial System Inquiry is the heavy exposure of Australian banks to the residential mortgage market. The exposure to domestic mortgages, which…
Mortgage broker home loans are riskier than those from banks. monkeyc.net/Flickr

To tackle risk, address how mortgage brokers are paid

Heightened competition among home lenders has prompted the banking regulator to issue a reminder of what constitutes prudent lending, but its suggestion that loans being generated by mortgage brokers should…
An increasing number of consumers choose a broker over going direct to a bank for their home loan. Dan Peled/AAP

Looking for a home loan? Choose from one of these four options…

Over 40% of mortgages in Australia are sold by mortgage brokers, not by their manufacturers - an issue that has the CEO of Australia’s fifth largest bank, Suncorp, arguing the sector is skewed towards…
Prior to the global financial crisis, 100% loans were commonplace in Australia. Casey Konstantin/Flickr

Risk on? Australian banks skirt unofficial home lending limits

Australian banks are much more heavily exposed to mortgage lending than banks in most parts of the world, which is why the latest publication of APRA data on home lending has set the hares running. The…
Yellow Brick Road and Macquarie Bank plan to offer mortgages against the Big Four banks - but the market will need a lot more information than so far released. Sam Howzit/Flickr

Down the Yellow Brick Road - or up the garden path?

Wealth management company Yellow Brick Road and Macquarie Bank have foreshadowed some sort of relationship which will provide a “much-needed alternative for Australian consumers” with the first step being…

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