Today's property story wrap-up.

More parliamentary hearings yesterday, with ANZ and NAB fronting the House of Reps Economic Committee in Canberra.  The message was, they're ready to lend...ANZ's Shayne Elliott saying his bank is "...ready to lend, especially for housing and small business...after a period of perhaps being too cautious, ANZ is easing back towards a sensible equilibrium." 

NAB however, reckons the low new loan numbers are a demand issue, which is at odds with what most are saying at the moment.  Keep that in mind when looking at NAB chief Philip Chronican's companion comment, that housing prices in Australia will be soft for another 12 to 18 months.  

While we're on NAB: one big whipping post at the moment is the embattled SMSF.  The latest hit to SMSF owners is NAB's cutting back on commercial lending to DIY funds, building on blocks across the banking sector to residential and commercial property.

John Durie in today's The Australian observes that the banks are fighting back against regulation, and claiming the resulting reluctance to lend is slowing the economy.  But ASIC isn't buying it...speaking at the AFR Banking & Wealth Summit, ASIC chairman James Shipton called out the banks for blaming the credit squeeze on regulatory crackdowns.

Also addressing the AFR talkfest was Anna Bligh, former QLD premier and now chief spokeswoman for Australian banks, saying that whichever party wins government in May needs to end grandfathered commissions on financial advice within their first 100 days of office.  Magically, federal treasurer Josh Frydenberg will today announceregulations requiring banks and other financial institutions that pay trailing commissions to instead pass them on to clients.

It's Crane Count Day!  RLB's latest count of cranes on our city skylines shows that high-density resi work is down in Sydney (310 cranes today compared to 321 six months ago) but booming in Melbourne.  Meanwhile, UDIA released its latest State of the Land report yesterday showing the supply of greenfield housing lots on Australia's east coast in 2018 dropped to five-year lows.  Volume in MLB and QLD dropped 20 per cent, while SYD dropped 43 per cent.  This same report predicts cap city rents are going to rise coinciding with an expected under-supply of new apartments by 2021.

Looking at all this earlier in the year, Harry Triguboff has admitted he considered switching his focus to industrial development for the first time in his company's history.  Then he looked at the numbers...even in a downturn, he realised he'll continue to make more from residential than industrial.

Back to Macquarie Street, and apparently the planning portfolio is the top pick of potential ministers in the newly-returned Berejiklian government.  Rob Stokes wants it back, incumbent Anthony Roberts wants to keep it, and Victor Dominello - who ran his local electorate campaign on an anti-development ticket that led to our Harry T bringing legal action against Victor personally in the last weeks of the campaign - has put his hand up as well.  Stay tuned.

Have a great day,

Luke Starr Director, Verve PR +61 419 446 879 lukes@vervepr.com.au

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