Unemployment rate falls towards 6%

New figures released by the Central Statistics Office show that the current rate of unemployment is 6.3%, the lowest it has ever been since the market crash. This rate is 2% lower than that recorded in June of 2016 and the exact number of workers who are listed as unemployed fell by 42,100 during this time.

 

The current rate of unemployment in Ireland is 3% lower than the EU average, reflecting this country’s incredible economic progress in the past few years. Although the unemployment rate is still higher than that in countries like Germany and the Netherlands, experts predict that the steady downward trend will continue.

 

Furthermore, Ireland has an unique advantage in its ability to better integrate immigrants into the work force. The unemployment rate for foreign nationals in Ireland stood at just 7.7% last month, when they are much higher across the rest of Europe.

 

Economist Mariano Mamertino believes that “Ireland remains on a clear trajectory for unemployment to …

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Generation X still suffering the consequences of the housing crash

A mortgage lender offers 100 percent mortgage and a little extra for furnishing the home, why not take it? This before the housing crash seemed like a fool-proof idea. House prices were continuously rising and real estate looked like a safe investment.

Then the housing market crashed. House prices dramatically dropped while unemployment rate was rising. Suddenly Generation X now has negative equity on a home. They’re owing more on a home than it’s actually worth. What do you do?

Generation Xers, classified being born between 1965 through 1984, had a majority out of a job or have had a huge pay cut and having negative equity on a home. Massive tax cuts and the expense of childcare has taken over the disposable income.

Living in a generation of spending culture, during the time of economic growth they did not think to save for retirement. Now …

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Proportion of buyers with mortgages surpass those who buy in cash in first time since market crash

Recent data reveals that the percentage of home buyers with mortgages have surpassed that of those who buy in cash. This is the first time this has happened since the property bubble and subsequent crash. On July 26th 2016, an Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance survey reported that 60% of houses are bought with cash, now, roughly a year later, the same survey concluded that less than 30% of homes are purchased by cash buyers.

 

During the years after the housing crash, the high percentages of cash buyers was caused by higher interest rates, stricter restrictions on lending, higher rates of unemployment, and the large amount of speculators purchasing properties as assets after the original home owners have defaulted on their loans. This indicated a general distrust in the market and the squeezing out of mortgage buyers who have defaulted on their homes.

 

Central Bank economist Dermot Coates predicted in 2016 that the proportion of cash buyers was “neither sustainable nor likely to continue into the future”. …

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Eoghan Murphy wanting to expand mortgage-to-rent

Minister for Housing wants to decrease rules on mortgage-to-rent (MTR) scheme to help expand the programme. Relaxing the criteria will dramatically increase the number of MTR homes.

The goal of the scheme to allow an option for people who can’t qualify for social housing.

How it works?

A group of investors will buy trouble mortgages and will let the houses to the tenants as a form of social housing.

The aim of the programme was to aid around 250 homes a year. Currently, the statistics have shown that from 2012 to the end of March only 240 have went through the programme. This is out of 3,672 applications submitted.

The reason?

This scheme can take up to an 18 month turnaround which is too long for a lot of investors.

To help out the scheme currently, a homeowner can surrender their home to the lender which goes to the Housing Agency. They can offer them an approved housing bodies (AHBs). Then AHBs buys the home and lets it to the borrower as social housing.

The revised version of MTR.

It …

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House prices are increasing now up to €1,000 a week, up from previous report

MyHome.ie just released a report than claims house prices are increasing more than the Daft.ie report. MyHome.ie report doubles Daft.ie’s findings, a rival website.

A greater focus on property prices in Dublin may be the reason for the vast difference in price increase especially because Dublin average monthly increase is more than €5,000.

The report also indicates the possible increase of prices are due to the Help-to-Buy scheme being reviewed for termination. Fear from first-time buyers are rushing them to buy houses before the cancellation of the scheme.

The Help-to-Buy scheme can provide tax rebates up to €20,000. The property prices nationally were up 8.9 year-on-year.

Conall MacCoille, author of report, said the huge inflation of house prices can be from job growth, high competition among homebuyers, and rising income. This as well as the Help-to-Buy scheme contributed to a rapid increase of house prices.

An increase of first-time buyer lending and relaxing of the mortgage lending regulations is also a factor.

MacCoille is predicting a rush of mortgage lending in 2017 if the Help-to-Buy scheme is phased out and the …

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Mortgage market update in the UK

The mortgage market in the UK after Brexit was announced has been shaky. With everyone not knowing how Brexit will turn out, they are weary of committing to huge financial obligations.

However, the UK mortgage market is starting to see potential buyers increase again. In May, a total of 121,464 mortgages were completed.

Total mortgage loans increased by £3.5 billion, which is the fastest pace in more than a year. Mortgage lending has increased 2.9 percent in the past year. The prediction for next years growth is 2 percent in 2017.

The slowdown in growth we can see come from the Brexit. The value of the Sterling dropping makes customers reluctant to purchase a house. This has very negatively affected the housing market in the UK.

The consumer credit card and personal loan debts have been on the rise as well. This is also causing worry from the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee as consumer credit continues to rise.

More regulations are going to be put in place to slow down the lending growth and another measure to be …

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Mortgage approval rates are surging

The amount of mortgages approvals increased by a third last month. The vast majority was first-time buyers.

With mortgage approval rates increasing, we can expect property prices to keep rising.

The Banking and Payments Federation figures also showed the amount of the approvals is increasing.

A reason for rapid increase could be from Eoghan Murphy, the Housing Minister, reviewing the Help-to-Buy scheme. This review is a result of the Help-to-Buy scheme being accused of inflating house prices.

The increase of approvals does not mean an increase in mortgage drawdowns, as finding a home increases in difficulty. With the housing shortage, houses for sale have multiple offers so you have to outbid the others.

Forecasts predict mortgage lending to go up from €5.7 billion last year to €7.5 billion this year. Within the next three years it might even reach €13 billion.

Mortgage approvals were up from 3,046 last May to 4,124 this May. That makes a 35 percent increase in a year.

We can expect to see an increase of competition among mortgage lending banks with lower interest rates or …

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House prices to increase for up to 10 years

The Daft.ie report stated that the first six months of 2017 in Ireland the house prices has risen more than all of last year. They will continue to rise for the next five to ten years unless signification measures are taken.

The house prices are moving up 12 percent higher than a year ago with an average of €2,000 a month. This leaves Dublin on the forefront of the housing increase.

Housing prices increasing means more people wanting to sell their home with more than 6,000 homes listed for May. That has been the highest total since middle of 2008. However, this increase of property for sale is not even close to meeting the demand of the market.

With the government reviewing the Help-to-Buy scheme, fear comes as this may lead to another surge of people wanting to buy.

A Daft.ie economist Ronan Lyons warns the rates in Dublin are going to increase faster than any other part of Ireland. He said this was because, “we’ve regulated ourselves out of the volume of homes that are needed”.

The possible cause …

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A loan may be offered to vacant-home owners

In reference to Loan scheme aims to bring vacant homes into use by Paul Melia on 29 June 2017 in Independent.

A possible solution to the shortage of housing in Ireland: a local authority loan could be offered to property owners of vacant housing. This solution came about when it was heard that 80,000 vacant housing was available in high demand urban areas from the 2016 Census. About 100,000 units are vacant in non-urban areas, excluding holiday homes. Data shows Ireland’s vacancy rate is at 9 percent while UK is only at 2.5 percent.

Chairman of the Housing Agency Conor Skehan worries about the impact on Ireland’s competitiveness if the housing shortage issue is not addressed. Affordability is essential to Ireland’s competitiveness and the housing costs drives wage costs so if housing is imbalanced Ireland’s competitiveness may be in trouble.

The one stipulation of this loan is it has to be affordable housing. This could raise the issue to some houses in areas not usually affordable.

This loan, however, can be just what an owner needs to get a …

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Airbnb claims it is not affecting long-term letting

In reference to Airbnb cannot beat revenue from long-term letting, company says by Colin Gleeson on 28 June 2017 in the Irish Times.

On Wednesday, Airbnb spoke to the Oireachtas housing committee claiming that their service does not affect the long-term letting in Dublin. The reason- on average an Airbnb host has to rent out their place well over 120 nights a year to beat the money made from long-term letting. This means hosts would rather long-term let their place than short-term let, if the goal was profit.

Critics of the company are claiming that property owners are ditching the long-term letting and going exclusively to short-term lets. This would not be helping Dublin in this case due to the massive housing shortage.

Patrick Robinson, the Airbnb director of public policy for EMEA, came to the committee with vast amount of information on hosts, statistics, …

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