Banks assure Central Highlands home loans still achievable

CENTRAL Queensland is a risky place in which to lend money according to the banks, but borrowing money for a home is still achievable.

This was the outcome of talks held recently between the Central Highlands Regional Council and the banking sector following rumours that mortgages were hard to get and foreclosures on the rise.

Mayor Peter Maguire said he was aware of local sentiment around the floods and the downturn in the resource sector that Emerald, in particular, presented a risk to banks that were reluctant to lend money.

"It was reassuring to learn that while the banks do consider the whole of Central Queensland to be a greater lending risk than other parts of the state, that there's no change to existing loans; interest rates don't change with location; and that any risk is offset with the requirement for slightly higher initial equity levels.

"Loans for commercial premises and businesses are treated a bit differently,' explained the mayor.

"Risk assessment reviews are built into these contracts and the flood protection program will have a direct effect on business confidence, which is why we were keen to present to the banks what we've done for flood mitigation and what we intend to do.

"The banks assured us that property market fluctuations around economic climate changes and natural disasters bounce back readily and they are keen to be kept informed on the progress of flood protection work."

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