NAB: More house own­ers fall­ing be­hind on mort­gage pay­ments

New Straits Times - - Business -

SYD­NEY: The Na­tional Aus­tralia Bank (NAB) said the per­cent­age of home­own­ers more than 90 days be­hind on their mort­gage pay­ments had risen slightly in Aus­tralia’s two most pop­u­lous states, amid in­creas­ing con­cern over the hot prop­erty mar­ket.

Aus­tralia’s fourth-big­gest lender re­ported a 2.3 per cent rise in cash profit to A$3.29 bil­lion (RM10.54 bil­lion) for the first six months to March 31, slightly above an­a­lyst ex­pec­ta­tions, bol­stered by lend­ing growth.

The out­look for Aus­tralian banks, which are highly re­liant on mort­gage loans, has dimmed af­ter the Aus­tralian Pru­den­tial Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity on March 31 asked them to limit new in­ter­est-only lend­ing to 30 per cent of to­tal new res­i­den­tial mort­gage lend­ing, from 40 per cent.

NAB chief ex­ec­u­tive An­drew Thor­burn said mort­gage ar­rears had in­creased in the first half, in­clud­ing in the most pop­u­lous New South Wales and Vic­to­ria, but from a low base.

“I think we should take a glass half full look at the Aus­tralian econ­omy.”

Mort­gage loans more than 90 days past due rose six ba­sis points to 0.58 per cent be­tween Septem­ber last year and March.

NAB also in­creased its pro­vi­sions by A$89 mil­lion re­lat­ing to risks in the com­mer­cial real es­tate port­fo­lio, as price growth slows and there are fears of an over­sup­ply of in­ner-city apart­ment de­vel­op­ments. Reuters

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