17 Jul 2013

Reserve Bank decision on home loan policy weeks away

9:47 am on 17 July 2013

It is still some weeks before the Reserve Bank is expected to announce whether it will introduce restrictions on how much trading banks can lend to home buyers.

The Labour Party had suggested an announcement was imminent, but the bank is still considering submissions on its proposed loan-to-value-ratio instrument, which closed only two weeks ago.

The idea has caused controversy, with critics saying first-home buyers will find it harder to get into the housing market.

Under the proposal, banks will probably only be able to lend 80% of the value of a house, forcing home buyers to find a minimum 20% deposit.

The Reserve Bank is considering the measure because high house prices and debt pose a risk to financial stability.

The Government wants the bank to exempt first-home buyers but that's not likely to happen.