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ANZ changes apartment lending rules in bid to help first homebuyers

More Kiwis may soon get a shot at tackling the property ladder, as ANZ makes changes to its lending rules for apartments.

Auckland City apartments Source: istock.com

The country’s biggest bank is reducing the apartment size at which its customers are required to have a higher deposit. 

ANZ’s New Zealand Managing Director Ben Kelleher said the change comes as the bank looks to do its bit to help the inflated housing market, where many first home buyers struggle to make their way in. 

“Apartments are often a more affordable entry point into the housing market. In addition, as cities intensify, apartments are becoming more common and popular choices for home buyers.” 

Now, customers will only need a 20 per cent deposit for freehold, standard apartments that are considered 38 square metres in size or larger. 

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That’s compared to the previous rules, which meant any apartment that was under 45 metres squared required customers to have a 50 per cent deposit. 

Lending for apartments carries a greater risk than other properties according to Kelleher, such as its ability to maintain value, building defects and leasehold tenure. 

That’s why he says homes smaller than 38 metres squared will still need that higher deposit. 

“However, it’s important that homeownership is accessible to as many Kiwis as possible. So, we’ve changed our rules to unlock a wider range of apartments at lower deposits, as an affordable property option for more people.”