Non-credit fuelled booms

There has been an ongoing narrative that the last housing boom (and many others) was only possible due to excessive credit. We have argued for a long time that this is a mistaken interpretation. While credit can make a bad situation worse, just like adding fuel to a flame, it is not the genesis of the problem.

We were pleased to see this view articulated by the Central Bank Governor Philip Lane recently. He stated that “cash buyers of property are limiting the ability of the Central Bank to control house prices through mortgage lending rules” he “singled out cash buyers as one of the key drivers of inflation in the Irish property market. Cash buyers used to account for about 25 per cent of house purchases in Ireland, but since the crash and ensuing credit crunch this figure has risen to 60 per cent“.

This is a point we have been making for years, firstly was that first time buyers are not, and have not been the problem. That was part of why we were specifically …

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Bank of England raises counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%

Bank of England announced to lenders that it is raising the country’s counter-cyclical capital buffer from 0 to 0.5% to mitigate pressures from increasing consumer credit. The counter-cyclical capital buffer is a requirement on all banks, lenders and investment firms to keep a certain level of capital when credit growth is excessive. To a certain extent, this buffer is able to insulate banks from the cyclical growth and downturns of the economy. Bank of England’s decision reflects its interests in slowing down credit and lending in the British economy.

 

By raising the counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%, British banks must increase their held capital by over £11.4 billion over the next 18 months. The Bank of England also has the intentions of further increasing the buffer by 0.5% to 1% by the end of 2017 to combat increases in consumer credit and lending. The counter-cyclical buffer has only been used once in the UK, but was quickly revoked due to stagnate economy conditions during the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

 

Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee warned that there …

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Central Bank of Ireland: Keeping the countercyclical capital buffer at zero?

In reference to Irish Central Bank maintains countercyclical capital buffer at zero by Peter Hamilton on 27 June 2017 in the Irish Times.

The Central Bank of Ireland decided to keep its countercyclical capital buffer at zero. Only if the current credit conditions remain restrained.

What is a countercyclical capital buffer?

A countercyclical capital buffer (CCyB) is a quarterly decided rate that applies to banks and investment firms. It’s a capital requirement designed to help banks save during the good months to prepare for the bad months. The CCyB will increase if the credit growth is excessive then is released during a period of systematic stress.

Currently, the Central Bank of Ireland said it will remain at zero.

Bank of England, on the other hand, has raised its buffer from zero to 0.5 percent. This leaves bank having to raise an altogether buffer of 11.4 billion euros in 18 months. The Bank of England is also planning on raising the buffer to 1 percent by the end of the year.

The Financial Policy Committee (FPC) of the Bank of England …

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Help-to-buy incentive under scrutiny

This past Sunday, current Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said on RTE’s The Week in Politics that the Help-to-Buy initiative introduced by his predecessor is currently under review. Since its introduction in January under former Finance Minister Michael Noonan and former Housing Minister Simon Coveney, the Help-to-Buy initiative has already received nearly 7,000 applicants and has successfully helped a great percentage of them with the purchase or building of their first home. However, the initiative has recently come under fire for exacerbating the problems it intended to solve, and there is speculation that it may be dissolved.

 

The purpose of the Help-to-Buy incentive was to encourage first buyers to enter the market by helping applicants with their deposit through the refund of applicants’ income tax and DIRT other the past 4 years. It applies to first time buyers who either purchase or build new residential properties, and allows them to receive 5% of the purchase price of their new home, with an upward limit of €20,000. It is hoped that the incentive would help more people climb the property ladder, …

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Tensions are High in the Mortgage Market

This post is in reference to It’s time to shout ‘stop’ on excessive charges by Brendan Burgess and Banks warned over cashback mortgage deals by Donal O’Donovan. Both published on June 16 2017 in the Independent.

Interest rates are high for non-tracker mortgages and banks are offering cashback deals to manipulate customers.

Everyone is accusing everyone today in the mortgage market in Ireland with interest rates the highest in the European Union. The Competition and Consumer Protections Commission (CCPC) have sat idly by for the past years as the interest rates are rising when the CCPC is designed and paid by the taxpayer to protect the consumers. CCPC came out with a report yesterday stating Ireland needs more competition, long-term strategy, vision and more committees. No suggestions in the report have a solution for the short-term.

The Government, Central Bank, and the CCPC wants everyone to be patient and the competition with drive down mortgage rate… but how long from now? Government and the Central Bank have been saying this for the past three years and nothing has changed.

Now …

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Karl Deeter Mentioned in the Press

You can find an article at this link which mentions Karl Deeter, apart of Irish Mortgage Brokers – Bank accused of ‘gouging’ loyal customers cuts its fixed rates on June 15 2017. Article by Charlie Weston in the Independent.

Permanent TSB, a state-rescued bank, has been increasingly cutting fixed rates in response to being accused of manipulating their clients. The bank has lowered it’s two-year fixed mortgages from 7.25% to 4.20% and three-year fixed mortgages from 8.75% to 4.20%. They have almost halved both of their fixed rate mortgages but the variable rate at the bank has remained the same.

The Central Bank has noticed an increase of fixed variable rates compared to variable for both new borrowers and existing ones. Therefore, banks have been reducing fixed rates to increase competition amongst other banks. This will prevent clients to switching to other banks for better deals.

The bank also extended a 2% cashback on all new mortgage drawdowns, supposed to end this month but got extended to the end of the year.

Karl Deeter was mentioned accusing the bank …

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Mortgage Market Update

The Financial Broker gives readers an overview on currently property prices and mortgage market conditions.

The Central Statistics Office published a report showing price inflation on property had increased 10.7% in the past year up to February. A similar report reveal how the number of newly build housing last year was 14,932 units when estimates denote a demand of up to 50,000 units. These numbers illustrate a problem in the current mortgage market, which this article pinpoints the causes of. The author laments about rising property prices, arguing that many potential home buyers have missed out on the prime time to purchase property, and are currently no long capable of affording the housing of their choice at an acceptable price.

The author attributes the current housing price and rent inflation in Ireland as consequences of a lack of supply in urban areas instead of lax macro-prudential regulations. In fact, she argues that current Central Bank regulations are too restrictive, and thus have prevented demanders from being able to locate and buy affordable housing. While the prudential regulations have lowered the …

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Highlights from the 2017 Macro-Financial Review

The Central Bank of Ireland published today it’s 2017 Macro-Financial Review. The report gives an overview of the Irish economy and the state of its financial environment. The aim of the report is to help protect the interests of the Bank’s stakeholders, these include: the Irish people, national and international authorities, and other participants in the financial market.

Sharon Donnery, the Central Bank’s deputy governor, introduced the report in a speech this morning. She states that the state of the general economy is improving, but also mentions a few outstanding issues that have the potential to negatively impact the economy’s improvement.

The report notes that much of the uncertainty in the Irish economy is a consequence of Brexit. The depreciation of the sterling against the euro and decreasing consumer spending in the UK has already put a burden on export industries. Uncertainties relating to Brexit may also arise from new trade barriers, trade policies and changes in international taxation.

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ECB Putting Pressure on Irish Banks?

European Central Bank is putting pressure on Ireland’s main banks to deal with the non-performing mortgages on their books. The banks are coming up with ways to remove these non-performing loans off their balance sheets. Considering the possibility of special purpose vehicles (SPV) that package all of the non-performing loans. They will need to sell the majority of the stake of the SPV to investors for them to remove it from their books. By creating SPVs, banks will still be able to service and have a stake in the mortgages. They are starting to create leads on investors currently.

With the ECB already overseeing a lot of the main banks in Ireland in the end of 2014, they have cut their average of 27% of non-performing loans off their balance sheet in 2013 to 14% at the end of 2016.

In the recent years, US private equity firms have refinanced millions of non-performing loans from Irish lenders. Showing a demand for such bonds because of the great success of residential mortgage backed securitisation. The banks will need to structure any …

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How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 10: How does Western European Mortgages Compare

Relating this series to the Western European mortgage market, as fixed-rate mortgages are most common among America while variable-rate mortgages are the most common in Western Europe. This is because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac insure their mortgages. This means it does not affect the lenders if the interest rate rises on a fixed-rate mortgage. It is so, because the mortgage market in the United States relies more on the secondary mortgage market than on formal government guarantees. Comparing home ownership rates between the United States and Western Europe, they are fairly similar but higher default rate in the United States. Mortgage loans are mostly non-recourse debt where the borrower is not personally liable in the United States.

With Ireland’s typical interest rate being higher compared to other Western European countries, theorist claim it was from the popularity of Tracker mortgages. Tracker mortgages being locked in at 1% higher than the European Central Bank (ECB) Rate, when the ECB rate hit 0% lenders were contractually obligated to have the borrowers’ interest rate at 1%. Since the lenders need to make …

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