The recent calls by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) to clamp down home lending across the country are “totally unnecessary” and will adversely affect the entire market, a chief executive warned.

Amanda Lynch, CEO of the Real Estate Institute of Australia, rejects the need for tighter controls on housing loans proposed by APRA this week.

The authority “outlined specific areas of prudential concern which included higher risk mortgage lending, strong growth in lending to investors and loan affordability tests for new borrowers”.

“The trend for this latest quarter, as seen in our latest national snapshot of the sector released today, is a cooling off of the market nationally – even Sydney is coming off a high this quarter,” she said.

“It was only last month that the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced that it  would be winding back its macro-prudential measures after it became clear that it was shutting first home buyers out of the market. We need to learn from these overseas experiences and not jump to knee-jerk reactions.”

Data from Australian Bureau of Statistics show the number of first homebuyers reached only 12% in the September quarter, significantly below the long term trend of 19%.  

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