Senior ANZ exec confirms the bank has dialed back lending to property developers

Apartment construction in Melbourne’s CBD. Photo: Getty Images

The head of ANZ’s Australian banking operations Mark Whelan has confirmed the bank is worried about the supply-demand balance in property markets and has reduced lending to developers.

Whelan told the Australian that this was a result of the bank’s desire to avoid losses that could occur when the market slows down.

Whelan agreed with the CEO of Australia’s biggest residential developer, Stockland, who said last week that new lending limits have popped the development bubble.

“I can tell you now when one of the majors stopped doing some lending in the commercial space in NSW recently, some of those deals came back to market — we’d said no to them six months prior,” he told The Australian.

Naturally, Whelan is implying the ANZ said no again.

He also clearly shares the view of many property market commentators that inner city Melbourne could be at risk of oversupply.

“If you sit down here in the Docklands … and it gets to eight o’clock at night, there’s not many lights on in some of these apartment buildings so it’s a bit concerning. But we’ve been very cautious with some of those ­commercial developments for a long time,” he said.

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