Making housing more affordable

This paper was written by Karl Deeter and covers many different aspects of housing in Ireland. It was written last year so there are parts of it that are not as current as we’d like it to be. Publishing was delayed for various reasons, but we hope that it provides a good background on the many facets of housing delivery in Ireland where some changes could make a difference to delivery.

The bad news is that there isn’t any one ‘grand idea’, the good news is that smaller changes across different areas of housing could help to provide a more steady stream of affordable homes in the future.

The working report  Making housing affordable in Ireland is in the link, there are still final views, corrections and critiques to consider, but it should give the reader a good insight into housing problems and housing solutions in Ireland today.

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Opening times and service during the Covid19 crisis.

We are dedicated to serving our clients in the face of any interruption or adversity. For this reason we have made arrangments for our team to work remotely other than for some of the management who are taking care of essential elements of the business and in line with the Central Bank of Ireland guidelines on the matter.

We are still able to work with you online, our team have phones diverted to their mobiles or are using software phones in remote locations. There are going to be delays though, that is to be expected as bank teams are very busy and also trying to work remotely. We will monitor the situation and update you should anything change, if there is no update you can assume we are back to full regular business ‘as usual’ upon the announcement that people can return to work.

 

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If you need mortgage assistance during the covid 19 pandemic

Below is a list of numbers for the banks where you can speak to representatives who will be able to assist you with any concerns you have about making mortgage payments during the covid19 pandemic.

AIB 1890 252008

Bank of Ireland 01 6113333

EBS 1850 330044

Finance Ireland 1890 995998

Haven Mortgages 1850 654329

ICS Mortgages 1890 542542

KBC Bank 1800 939244

Permanent tsb 0818 502424

Ulster Bank 1800 435763

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Commission and clawback disclosures for 2020

Below is a table that shows our clawbacks and commissions agreements with the banks we deal with. All lenders pay the same sum, some claw it back differently. A clawback is where at some point in the future after a loan draws down that a bank or lender takes back income that was payable as commission in the past.

For example, if we help a client to borrow €150,000 we would get €1,500 in income from the bank, but with most of them if you were to refinance elsewhere for a better deal in year one the original bank would take back (claw back) the full €1,500. That’s why our terms of business explains that if we get a clawback that we in turn seek payment of that from the client.

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Covid19 update

Due to the coronavirus pandemic our company is doing what we can to keep staff safe while still serving our customers through what can be a very stressful experience.

This has meant that some staff are observing self-isolation, others are working remotely and within our office building we are all segregated into different rooms, one person per office Normally the offices are shared.

Along with this there are issues with banks, longer holding times on call lines, reduced staff in the lending teams and banks are also trying to deal with existing customers who require assistance at this time with mortgage payment help.

So while we are still open, doing our best to close loans that are near drawdown and assist people who need us, there are significant delays within the system that are beyond our control.

In short, everything will be the same as it usually is but with delays and depending on developments that may arise regarding any government decisions these delays may become more or less protracted. Our intention is to go along with whatever the prevailing …

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Who are Finance Ireland?

We are sometimes asked ‘who are finance Ireland’ because people don’t know the company. In short, they are a broker only lender, this is yet another reason you should never go to a bank directly, they couldn’t tell you about their rates and products if they wanted to and in this instance their prices are amongst the best there is!

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If you care about housing vote for People Before Profit because… A conversation with Richard Boyd Barrett

Karl sat down with Richard Boyd Barrett of People Before Profit to discuss their housing policy, it was the first in a series of podcasts on housing where we offered to discuss housing policy in a non-confrontational way with parties that may not normally have policies we would focus on. The offer went out to the Greens, Labour, Sinn Fein and PBP as well as the SocDems.

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How to design a wealth tax.

Wealth taxes are very popular in general, but not in particular because it usually means that asset ownership gives rise to taxation. One example of this would be property tax.

If ‘wealth’ is going to be taxed it has to be defined, the classical example is to use the accounting equation in which ‘assets minus liabilities equals capital’. The issue after that is where debt is involved because if you owned a home worth €300,000 and had debts on it of €200,000 then your ‘wealth’ is €100,000.

People could potentially try to game the system, it’s not as simple as getting indebted, if you had €300,000 in cash and then bought a property and remortgaged it to the hilt you’d still have to have €300,000 cash somewhere, so the issue becomes one of reporting and valuation.

This puts a weight upon the individual to make declarations and returns which people don’t like doing so a simplified process would be a good thing, where a person can provider a simple number of ‘assets minus liabilities equals wealth’ and file it online.

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RTE Primetime featurs Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were asked to take part in an interview on Primetime about house prices and whether or not they were starting to show signs of falling. Our view is that they will fall in time (probably in a damaging way) but that it won’t be soon because supply is still above demand and price indicators like rents are still rising. This is damaging for first time buyers and those stuck paying high rents.

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