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Low rental yields could add to housing risk


Low rental yields could add to housing risk

Low rental yields could pose a risk for property investors, new research has claimed.

Moody's research has claimed falling rental yields and the increased cost of servicing the loan on housing investment relative to household incomes could put property investors at risk, The Australian Financial Review has reported. A Moody's Investor Services residential report has claimed that the gap between investors' interest costs and rental earnings is "bigger than it has ever been", the AFR said.

"The deteriorating affordability of servicing investment properties makes residential property investors more vulnerable to risks such as loss of income, interest-rate increases, vacancies or rent reductions, and therefore increases their probability of default," Moody's assistant vice president John Paul Truijens said.

Truijens said even with record low interest rates, the size of the home loans investors need to buy is high.

"This is relevant to those who have bought at high prices. They are the most vulnerable here," he said.

Those who bought at the peak of the Sydney and Melbourne property booms are particularly at risk, Truijens said. And shrinking rental yields mean investors will come to depend more on capital growth to cover their losses. Moody's claimed this dependence on house price growth made residential property investment riskier, and that the situation for investors could deteriorate through 2016 and 2017.

"If there are any shocks, if house prices don't go up, then all investors have are cash-flow losses," Truijens said.

The Moody's analysis comes after figures from CoreLogic RP Data showed anaemic rental price growth across Australian capitals.

Source: CoreLogic RP Data

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