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Reserve Bank's LVR policy 'will make very little difference', ANZ's Judge says

Wednesday 16th October 2013

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The Reserve Bank's restrictions on low-deposit home loans won't have much impact in alleviating pressures in a housing market driven by a shortage of land and high local authority compliance costs, says ANZ New Zealand chairman John Judge.

Judge, chairman of New Zealand's biggest lender, was speaking at Fletcher Building's annual meeting in Auckland, where he is a director.

"The reality is price inflation is being driven in Auckland and Christchurch by an imbalance of supply and demand, and the costs foisted on us by the city council," Judge said. Without addressing the availability of land there won't be much improvement, he said.

"My polite thought is this (LVR restrictions) will make very little difference," Judge said.

Deputy governor Grant Spencer said yesterday that the building boom looming in Christchurch and Auckland in the next three years will inevitably put upward pressure on wages and prices in the construction sector and could spill over into general inflation.

Restrictions on high loan-to-value mortgages imposed from Oct. 1 are estimated to have the same dampening effect on demand as about 30 basis points of increase in the official cash rate, Spencer said. They could also reduce the extent of OCR hikes and exchange rate pressure in the coming economic cycle, he said.

The Reserve Bank estimates the LVR restrictions will reduce mortgage credit growth by 1-to-3 percentage points over the first year, trim home sales by 3 percent to 8 percent and trim house price inflation by 1-to-4 percentage points.

The Auckland Housing Accord aims to free up enough land for 39,000 homes in the next three years, while 12,000 new homes may be built in Canterbury in the same period.

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