Housing supply in Australia : the impact of the availability of development finance
Bryant, Lyndall (2010) Housing supply in Australia : the impact of the availability of development finance. In Proceedings of 2010 International Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management, China Architecture & Building Press, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, pp. 386-391.
Before the Global Financial Crisis many providers of finance had growth mandates and actively pursued development finance deals as a way of gaining higher returns on funds with regular capital turnover and re-investment possible. This was able to be achieved through high gearing and low presales in a strong market. As asset prices fell, loan covenants breached and memories of the 1990’s returned, banks rapidly adjusted their risk appetite via retraction of gearing and expansion of presale requirements.
Early signs of loosening in bank credit policy are emerging, however parties seeking development finance are faced with a severely reduced number of institutions from which to source funding. The few institutions that are lending are filtering out only the best credit risks by way of constrictive credit conditions including: low loan to value ratios, the corresponding requirement to contribute high levels of equity, lack of support in non-prime locations and the requirement for only borrowers with well established track records. In this risk averse and capital constrained environment, the ability of developers to proceed with real estate developments is still being constrained by their inability to obtain project finance.
This paper will examine the pre and post GFC development finance environment. It will identify the key lending criteria relevant to real estate development finance and will detail the related changes to credit policies over this period. The associated impact to real estate development projects will be presented, highlighting the significant constraint to supply that the inability to obtain finance poses.
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