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Have you ever walked into a bank with a mask on?

I heard a bloke named Dillinger tried it. Didn’t go well for him!

However, with the onset of COVID-19, banks have changed not only the way they interact with their customers, but also the lending process. Furthermore, along with the rest of the community, masks have become compulsory in many banks.

According to Director and Senior Mortgage Broker of Your Loan Doctor in Brisbane, George Walklin, there are a number of banking changes that will have an affect on a large number of mortgage seekers:

Changes that have occurred in most banks include:

  • banks now have their mortgage applications online; and
  • documentation is now electronic instead of paper based.

 Regarding going electronic:

  • Depending on the bank, the move to online could stay with us as a permanent feature for the foreseeable future; and
  • A further change being that instead of the old fashioned face-to-face meetings, complete with masks of late, banks are now doing video calls.” A sign of keeping with these times…….that are ‘zooming’ by, (sorry, Ed.).

 Here’s the bit that could hurt!

 According to George, other banking financial changes have included

  • “Banks are now asking for a larger deposit and have elected not to lend to casual workers. This will affect many in the workforce;
  • Many banks are exercising a lot more caution when it comes to lending to people who work in the more vulnerable industries, which obviously takes in the hard hit hospitality and tourism industries, which also harbour many of the casual workers mentioned above; 
  • Banks can now more easily deny loan applications for lack of earning power, as they no longer count all forms of income like bonuses, overtime pay and commissions. 
  • Increased caution by the banks has and will continue to, greatly increase assessment times;
  • People in essential service industries, however, have very few changes as their employment and income has not changed given the necessity of their jobs; and
  • Banks are moving to minimise risk by not taking on those with jobs in high risk industries at all.

 Prediction:

It is likely that the premium suburbs in capital cities will come out of COVID-19 the least impacted in the property market due to the higher levels of liquidity and earning power in those areas providing good service bases for loans.

JobKeeper:

  • Banks have now started to introduce new verifications and calculation requirements for those who are receiving JobKeeper payments.

 Changes in the Mortgage Broking Industry:

  • Many brokers are also moving to mainly online dealings, introducing policy changes to reflect the online shift;
  • Property valuations must now consider social distancing regulations as well as travel restrictions in some areas; and
  • The fast changing economic uncertainty surrounding the crisis sees brokers rapidly updating their policies and practices in order to keep up with the rapid market changes.

 New opportunities however have emerged from the crisis:

  • Online apps and other computer based technology are now being used far more and in a much more accepted manner for direct communication between customers and mortgage brokers, including the now well-known video meetings; and
  • Mortgage brokers are now delivering a more tailored service to each of their customers.” 

While there remains conjecture amongst the financial gurus as to whether or not prices will drop further than during COVID and if so by how far, one certain fact is, prices will increase significantly over the next few years. The fact is that they have already begun to sneak up. Now is a good time to buy property and that is something that everyone agrees on.

When you’re ready to get into the market, to make a start on your fast fortune, let us know at PPBA. You will be in your new home or leasing out your new investment property before your feet can touch the ground.

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