Newstalk ‘The Right Hook’, Jonathan Healy speaks to Karl Deeter

We were speaking to Jonathan Healy who was covering for George Hook on ‘The Right Hook’ about the ‘home renovation initiative’ which is set to end at the end of 2016. We covered some of the general terms and conditions of how it worked then went on to analyse whether it was a good idea or not given the various happenings everywhere else in the market.

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rent control Europe - Germany

Rent control Europe: Germany

Population: 81,770,900 GDP: $3,467,780,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €962.00 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €4,078.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €830.78

German rent control systems are often heralded as a solution to the problem of unaffordable housing. Germany boasts the strongest economy in the European Union and, despite experiences difficulties of its own during the economic contraction of 2008, has been rapidly recovering to pre-recession levels.

Among the countries we have analysed, Germany is the most receptive to tenant-friendly legislation; German home-ownership is the second-lowest in the European Union, at 52.5% in 2014[1], and as low as 15% in municipalities like Berlin.

Historically, property prices have risen very slowly in Germany, removing one of the primary motivations for buying a home: hedging against rising future rents. To compound this, German banks are notoriously risk-adverse, and these stringent lending practices protect the housing market from financial market distortions, reducing the risk of default and providing market stability.

According to the OECD Better Life Index, 93% of Germans are satisfied with their current housing situation[2], which has …

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2016 change tenant calculator

The cost of turfing out tenants

It is often assumed that landlords don’t want to give people long leases preferring to see people leave and obtain a rent increase where possible. This belief doesn’t factor in several concerns, firstly is that rents are not always rising, that moving is an inconvenience to both tenant and landlord and that there are some hard costs to factor in.

For this reason we created a small basic calculation to show that in many cases the recouping costs equate to more than a months rent and that a landlord would have to increase rents by about 12% to break even.

The other thing that happens is the landlord takes on a new risk of an unknown tenant, good tenants are like good credit applicants, they often don’t pay top rates because of their past performance, a new person might be habitually late, break more, or be more high maintenance.

This is yet another reason that shows the benefit of a long lease to a landlord, equally the tenant also benefits by having the protections of a …

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Newstalk: Breakfast show speaks to Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were pleased to feature on Newstalk’s ‘Breakfast Show’ this week, to our surprise we became an association! To clarify, that was just a title oversight by the presenter, we are still our plain old regular selves working as brokers.

The piece was questioning the validity or need for first time buyer type grants and what it could mean for both buyers and the industry.

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2016 france rent control

Rent control Europe: France

Population: 66,689,000 GDP: $2,829,192,039,172 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €1,128.44 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €13,639.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre (Paris) Avg. Monthly Rent: €848.59

France boasts the second largest economy in the European Union, and alongside their German counterparts, are responsible for a major portion of the fiscal policy introduced by the Eurozone nations. French legislation is also among the most pro-tenant in the world, and this is coupled with the policies introduced by Francois Hollande, the French Socialist President, which target the wealthy.

Currently, France is faced with housing shortages of record proportions; despite government subsidies and tax cuts incentivising construction of rental properties, household investment is at its lowest point since mid-1999. This lack of investment puts additional stress on companies and consumers to create growth, and spur the recovery forward. Paris in particular is a popular destination for foreign investors, which has caused local legislation intended to curtail this absentee ownership. These housing regulations have made the situation worse, with additional restrictions on rents decreasing investor interest in the area.

There also exists considerable …

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2016 finland rent controls

Rent control Europe: Finland

Population: 5,488,543 GDP: $237,111,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €575.00 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €6,214.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €887.30

Our second foray into the Nordic countries takes us to Finland; similarly to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway, the Finnish economy enjoyed unprecedented growth from 1999, when it joined the European Union’s single currency, until the recession in 2008. In comparison with the rest of the Eurozone, Finland’s recovery has been strong; in 2012, the public debt in Finland was estimated at 50% of GDP, significantly lower than the beleaguered Germans, for whom public debt was 80% of GDP.

Measured differently, however, the Finnish recovery is less impressive. In Q2 2012, the Finnish GDP dropped by 1%, whereas its nearby neighbour Sweden enjoyed an increase of 1.4% in the same period. In the same year, the Swedish government ran an account surplus of 7% of GDP, whereas the Finnish government operated its first deficit since 1993.

The differences between Sweden and Finland extend to their handling of property: while Sweden is staunchly pro-tenant, the practices …

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2016 denmark rent control

Rent control Europe: Denmark

Population: 5,717,041 GDP: $300,906,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €775.00 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €4,279.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €1,077.69

In this post, we will be discussing the rent control strategies employed in Denmark, and their impact on the economic recovery and growth of the country. Of the countries we have analysed so far, Denmark ranks among the top in most complicated, convoluted rent control systems.

The Danish housing market is composed of four primary sectors: owner occupied housing, cooperative housing, public rental housing, and private rental housing.

The Danish system of rent control is predicated on the belief that landlords should not profit from letting their property; landlords can, therefore, only pass on day-to-day property costs (including property taxes) and a predetermined amount for the maintenance of the property. The Rent Act provides the general provisions of the contract between landlord and tenant, and pertains to the technical aspects of the tenant relationship.

There is also allowed a capital charge, which varies between 7% and 14%, depending on the age of the dwelling …

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Rent control Europe- Czech republic

Rent control Europe: Czech Republic

Population: 10,553,443 GDP: $189,982,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €198.25 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €3,384.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €475.73

Any analysis of rent control in Europe must take careful note of the example that is the Czech Republic, where an estimated 90% of households lived in rent-controlled housing as of 2006. Since then, the country has begun the slow transition to a market-based system, although this has not been without pitfalls; there is a general consensus in favour of readdressing housing regulation legislation, but this has been met with considerable resistance by the citizens.

The prospect of citizens being responsible for their own housing is a new, and alien idea for Czechs, many of whom believe that the provision and maintenance of housing is the responsibility of the government. What has resulted is a split system: older Czechs live in rent controlled housing governed by the Price Regulation of the Ministry of Finance, whereas new renters, foreigners, and any property built after 1993 exists in the free market, with freely negotiated rental rates.

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2016 cyprus rent controls

Rent Control in Europe: Cyprus

Population: 1,165,000 GDP: $23,263,000,000 Avg. Weekly Earnings: €393.50 Avg. Apartment Price (Per. Sq. M.): €1,790.00 For 120-sq. m. apartment in city centre Avg. Monthly Rent: €441.82

In this post we will be analysing the current housing market in the Mediterranean island nation of Cyprus. According to the RICS Cyprus Property Price Index, published on July 4th, prices of both residential apartments and homes increased during the first quarter of 2016, 1.2% and 1.5% respectively.[1]

This comes on the heels of a dramatic price collapse for the Cypriot housing market; while the entire world felt the effects of the economic downturn of 2008, there was a disproportional decline in housing prices in Cyprus. There were two readily identifiable causes for the increased susceptibility of the Cypriot market: the reliance on injections of foreign investment capital, primarily from the U.K. and Russia, which all but evaporated when conditions took a turn for the worse back at home, and the title deed logjam that plagued Cypriot housing.

The title deed debacle characterised Cyprus’s real estate development up until its collapse in 2008. The …

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