Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn has dampened concerns about rising house prices, saying the growth spurt is being fuelled by owner- occupiers, not investors piling into the Sydney and Melbourne markets.
Comyn has underlined several distinctive characteristics of today’s market, compared with earlier property booms. He says that in the middle of the last decade, more than half of new lending in Sydney and NSW was owing to investors. “If you go back to 2014-15, most of that growth was coming out of Sydney and Melbourne,” he says.
“At the moment, the fastest-growing capital cities are Darwin and Perth, then Canberra. There’s a number of regional locations that are growing very rapidly. In fact, Sydney and Melbourne are not strong on a relative basis.”
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank chief executive Marnie Baker has highlighted the strength of the regional property market and owner-occupiers in driving recent price growth. “Our own book is 85% owner-occupied, so it’s actually not being led by investors,” she says. “That’s a difference that we need to take into account.”