Tony Alexander

PHOTO: Tony Alexander

Last Wednesday I sent a survey request to 100 bankers and financiers on my subscription list and received 33 well written, detailed descriptions of how banks and non-bank lenders are handling the current Covid-19 crisisTony Alexander

Many property owners working with their brokers are seeking some mortgage deferral, most going to interest-only once they understand that what is on offer is a mortgage deferral, not a cost-free holiday.

Banks are processing interest-only changes quickly, but full mortgage deferral applications are taking longer. Applications for new finance have largely dried up. Some banks are offering only three months deferral with a review in three months.

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Banks lacked loan application processing staff before the virus shock and lockdown and still appear to lack sufficient staff to handle enquiries. That may explain why banks no longer appear to have interest in refinancing mortgages from other banks at the moment.

It’s just not a priority. Some banks have straight out stated to brokers that they are taking no new clients at the moment. Not all however.

An extra pushback by banks is being made on minimum deposit sizes for investment apartment purchases, changing in some cases from 30% deposit to a minimum 45%.

Mortgagors are wary of taking repayment holidays because of the extra interest which will accrue and because some banks are not extending the mortgage term but instead raising planned repayments for when the holiday period ends.



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