In an attempt to continue the home loan crackdown, gifts, inheritances, and wage advances have become the latest ‘savings’ banned by lenders in assessing a property buyer’s eligibility for mortgages. Other savings described as ‘non-genuine’ include wins at casinos and races, government grants, builder discounts, and other finance offered as incentives.

Lenders are also demanding property buyers in Victoria and Queensland to appear in a face-to-face interview using a prescribed set of identification documents.

These sneaky, small-print conditions are being introduced as lenders battle to build their share of the mortgage market through one, three, and five-year fixed terms for new and existing borrowers.

“It is harder now for the first home buyers, needing a high loan-to-value ratio to get one, while refinancing of existing loans and investment loans are easier to get,” said Martin North, principal of Digital Finance Analytics. “It continues to stoke house prices and make property less affordable, lifting household debt to highest ever levels and sucking lending from potentially productive businesses.”

While some banks have issued their own lists of what they consider as non-genuine savings, other banks are discreetly making it more expensive and difficult to get loans for borrowers by adding other fees and charges that were once free to applicants. They are also reducing loan to value ratios and tightening rules for what an applicant can use as savings.