Reserve Bank of New Zealand delays LVR Restriction Launch Date

The Reserve Bank today has deferred the start date of the proposed changes to investor loan loan-to-value restrictions (LVRs) nationwide from 1 September to 1 October 2016, based on feedback from the banking industry from its recent consultation on the proposals.

Deputy Governor, Grant Spencer, said:  “Banks have indicated through their submissions that more time is required to enable them to meet the new restrictions that apply to investor loans nationwide, given the pipeline of loan pre-approvals made prior to our announcement in July.

“We understand that banks have been applying the new LVR restrictions to new loan applications since the LVR changes were announced. On that basis we will defer the formal introduction of the changes to 1 October in order to accommodate the backlog of pre-approvals.”

Mr Spencer noted there had been a number of queries related to exemptions. He clarified that the range of existing exemptions to LVR restrictions will continue to apply under the proposed changes.  These exemptions permit the banks to make high LVR loans that would otherwise be limited by the restrictions.

“It is important to emphasise that these exemptions are permissive but do not create an obligation on the banks to make such loans.  The banks will still apply their own lending criteria to individual borrowers and may choose to not provide finance in these circumstances or to provide it only at lower LVRs.

“The consultation process closed on 10 August and we are continuing to analyse submissions.  Further adjustments to the proposals, including the exemptions, are still possible and we expect to publish a final policy position later this month,” Mr Spencer said.

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