Banks 'reluctant to approve home loans'
It's tough times for mortgage bond origination firms.
Companies say they are battling to get approval for their clients' home-loan applications - even when their clients are a safe bet.
Tess Rodrigues of mortgage origination firm Property Factor, said: "Your average person, even though they qualify - we are finding even those applications get declined at the banks.
"We have definitely seen a huge change from the beginning of the year.
"My feeling is they are being selective," she said.
Rodrigues said that many applications had failed on scoring for length of employment, or whether they have a landline telephone number or their type of employment.
Grant Butler of Copestone Financial Solutions agreed, and said there was a "huge" element of risk aversion at banks.
"It is the toughest marketplace ever at the moment," said Butler.
"There is definitely a lack of appetite by the banks. They are being extremely pedantic on the credit scoring side.
"It's various things, for example not having a home telephone number or business telephone, but a lot of people are running small business and operate with cellphones," said Butler. "The industry norm is a 50percent decline rate," he said.
However, Jaques du Toit, senior property analyst at Absa Home Loans, said that banks may have a reduced appetite for risk, but they haven't lost it completely.
"I don't think banks have lost their appetite for risk but risks have increased because of higher interest rates... and banks must take account of these risks. That is why some banks have tightened their credit criteria."
It is not the case that (banks) are grinding to a halt in terms of credit extension.
Du Toit added: "When you are in the lending business you have to take the risk into account, in good times and in bad. Households are under much more pressure."