About 10 people have emailed me this story from RealEstateWeb today: Absa home loan shocker. ABSA are now preventing people with certain savings accounts linked to their bonds from withdrawing any extra equity from those bonds without going through an application and jumping through some hoops.
So what's going on here? Well with close to 80% of the mortgage market ABSA have a lot to lose if property prices go south any further and defaults increase. They're already auctioning off repossessed houses as fast as possible but this action means it might not be fast enough. It would seem they expect to be the new owners of a chunk of SA realty soon and are trying to reduce losses at the inevitable discount rate bank repo auction by keeping the extra cash paid into the bond.