Property boom fears

The local head of Australia's third biggest home loan lender says there is nothing concerning about house price rises in Sydney, but says he would like to see a more stable housing market.

ANZ chief executive of Australia Phil Chronican said the spike in the local housing market was a correction after a decade of slow growth, but warned if it was to continue at the same pace he would have concerns.

''I think it's reasonable to see that the Sydney market is recovering back into a relative position where it might have been against Brisbane and Melbourne and other cities,'' he said.

''The biggest increase in home prices in the last year or so were in Sydney. That was the market that in the decade previously had the slowest growth.''

''The real question is, if it were to continue would we have concerns? And of course the answer is, if it continued at the same pace as last year, then yes we would.''

Mr Chronican said the bank had its lending standards constantly under review but there was ''nothing in the market today that is giving us any particular cause of concern.''

''The housing market presents two types of concerns. It's either going up too quickly or it's showing signs of running out of steam,'' he said.

''Frankly, we would like a more stable housing market.''

Asia focus

ANZ is well progressed in its strategic push into Asia, with the federal trade and investment minister Andrew Robb opening ANZ's new sub-branch in Shanghai's free trade zone today.

The lender also signed a new agreement with UnionPay International to give more Chinese nationals access to its services.

Speaking on the bank's regional focus, Mr Chronican welcomed the regional trade deals signed by the government this week.

He said Australia would also benefit from greater access to Chinese markets - something the Prime Minister Tony Abbott could address in his current visit to the country.

''We think there's opportunity to grow in Asia. We know the Chinese government is already committed to improving its financial sector," he said.

''We'd like that to include more liberal access arrangements for us."

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