An opportunity for home owners amidst rising house prices

The average house price in Ireland has risen 11.2% over the past year, and prices in at least 8 counties are currently rising faster than that immediately preceding the market crash. Rapidly rising prices, low interest rates, and insufficient supply are together representative of the current situation in Ireland’s property market. Although this situation has many market watchers worried about possible inflation, and is definitely a hindrance to buyers still seeking for a home at an affordable price, there is a perk that could result for homeowners with an existing mortgage.

 

This blog post will illustrate this hidden opportunity and give homeowners the necessary knowledge if they intend to pursue it.

 

For homeowners with a high standard variable or fixed rate mortgage, your interest rate is most often based directly on your Loan-to-Value  ratio (LTV). The loan to value ratio is ratio of your loan to the value of your property. Each lending institution may have a different way of calculating and determining your interest rate but in general, the higher your LTV, the higher your interest rate. …

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An increase of housing demand for millennials in the US

Real estate is on millennials to do list despite the stalled wage growth and housing market fears in the United States.

The National Association of Realtors show that the amount of first-time home buyers increased 3 percent year-over-year. They made up of 33 percent of the home mortgage market in May.

First-time home buyers can be categorized as someone who has not owned a home in the past three years.

Fannie Mae statistics shows that first-time home buyers make up of 42 percent of all home mortgages from January to April which is up 2 percent from 2016.

As interest amongst the millennials is rising in home buying, whether or not that will be a good idea is at question. The Federal Reserve just raised their interest rates which will affect the millennials in search for a …

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A new tax on rents over €2,500

This year a new tax bill in Dublin was introduced that has not been welcome amongst the public. As we see rents rapidly increasing in Dublin, a 1 percent stamp duty on rents over €2,500 becomes ever more pertinent than before.

 

This 1 percent duty was initially set at around €1,500 month. It was then raised to €2,500 after the financial crisis to help relieve some of the pressure on tenants.

 

However, it has now came to that level where a more massive amount of people are hitting this €2,500 a month target.

 

With housing rates increasing rapidly, an analysis by Goodbody Stockbrokers claimed around 55 percent of three-bedroom Dublin homes are above this €2,500 level on the Daft.ie. A third of all these properties are in the same area.

 

What does this mean for many families?

On …

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If the Help-to-Buy scheme is cut it will only worsen the housing crisis

The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) claims that if the Help-to-Buy scheme is in fact removed it will only worsen our housing crisis.

The CIF, an industry lobby group, said it will take time for the scheme to do what it is intended for. The scheme has expanded the first-time buyer market so banks will start lending to builders more to construct starter homes.

The Help-to-Buy scheme can help first-time buyers get a tax rebate of up to €20,000. The public has blamed this scheme for playing a part in the rising house prices this past year.

The Help-to-Buy scheme apparently has made residential building in key locations possible from the first-time buyers being assisted. The CIF director general, Tom Parlon, says that this scheme has significantly helped in the growth of residential construction. Since more first-time buyers can purchase a home, building starter homes becomes a more enticing move for builders.

The Central Statistics Office published on Tuesday a report saying that housing prices grew 2.2 percent last month. This is the largest monthly increase since last July.

In Dublin, …

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A construction agency has seen a boom in business since the Help-to-Buy scheme

Abbey, a property developer, has high hopes for the Irish housing market.

They are seeing huge gains as the house prices keep increasing. They are especially reaping the benefits from the Help-to-Buy scheme. That’s why they are against the review of the scheme.

The intention of the Help-to-Buy scheme was to encourage first-time buyers and to speed up new supply of houses. It can give first-time buyers up to €20,000 in tax rebates. The scheme, instead, has apparently increased home values than raise supply of new homes. This has raised concern for the Minister for Housing, Eoghan Murphy, which brought up the review of the scheme.

 

The Central Statistics Office published on Tuesday that the Irish housing prices went up by 11.9 percent in May from the previous 12 months, driven by a 12.8 percent increase outside of Dublin.

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Bank of Ireland restructures their equity

Over the weekend, Bank of Ireland went through some major changes to their structure.

This is needed to avoid a future bail out. Fitch, one of the world’s top three credit ratings firm, said the Irish banking system had around 15 percent of non-performing loans. This is about three times the average amount of the European Union countries.

Despite this, Fitch still gave Ireland a rating of A because of the potential economic growth. They gave Ireland this rating on Friday because the economy is supposed to grow 3.5 percent this year which makes Ireland one of the top growers from the EU area for the third consecutive year.

Even with this high rating, Fitch warns Irish banks that this massive amount of problem loans is weighing the country’s rating down.

Bank of Ireland responds by restructuring their equity to protect Ireland if a crisis occurs. This new system protects the Irish bank accounts and minimizes taxpayer bailout.

How it works?

Bank of Ireland will issue two types of equity: senior and junior. This puts the liability of crisis to …

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Cash back deals: are banks manipulating borrowers?

The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) warned lenders last month about their use of cashback deals and loyalty discounts. The commission believes that such incentives may be detrimental to consumers and may reflect unhealthy competition in the mortgage market.

 

Cash back deals have become more and more common in the market in recent years. These deals work by giving borrowers a certain percentage of their total mortgage amount back at the start of their loan, and they mostly target first time buyers who may need the extra money on hand to furnish their homes or to tide them through a tough transitional time in life.

 

A quick look around the market reveals that major lenders, such as AIB, Ulster Bank, Bank of Ireland, EBS and KBC, all have similar cash back deals, mostly ranging from 2-3% or €1500-€2000. The catch on these loans however, is that interest rates on them are often higher than the average on traditional loans. This means that over the term of the loan, extra interest paid  may turn out to be much …

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PRA warns against 35 year mortgages in England

Traditionally, banks have offered mortgage terms of 25 years to buyers, a long enough time so that buyers can have both low monthly payments and a moderate level of total interest paid. In recent years however, there has been a trend towards mortgage loans of even longer terms, those 35 years or longer in the UK mortgage market. By extending the duration of loans, banks have reduced the amount borrowers pay as monthly instalments, thus making housing appear more affordable in the short run. Despite its apparent benefits however, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) of the Bank of England has issued warnings about these loans and their risks and consequences.

 

Earlier this week, in a speech intended to be delivered in May but pushed back due to the election, head of the PRA, Sam Woods warned lenders about offering long term mortgages. With mortgages of over 35 years, there is an increase likelihood that the later instalments would have to be paid with post retirement income. Woods and the agency believes that this dramatically increases the risk of these …

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Shadow mortgage lending in Hong Kong

Property prices have been booming in Hong Kong over the past couple of years, and have yet to reflect any slowdown. While various governmental regulations have attempted to curb growth, a closer look at Hong Kong’s mortgage market reveals that shadow lenders are rapidly gaining ground. These mortgage lenders operate outside of financial regulations and have become the option of many buyers as more limits are placed by the Central Bank on traditional forms of financing.

 

Shadow lending describes private lending performed by institutions that are not tradition banks. These institutions can be financial intermediaries or other lenders and provide similar services as banks. These institutions do not necessarily create instability in the financial system, and can be greatly beneficial by offering financing to buyers in a time where restrictions on tradition banks are tight. However, these institutions lie outside the control of official regulatory institutions, thus their lending practices may be at greater risk if a financial downturn were to happen.

 

In most countries, the major of home loans are still made out by traditional banks, and …

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Rate of expansion in construction activity slowed in June

In June, the rate of expansion in construction activity slowed in Ireland. The civil engineering division had a slight decrease while the housing and commercial divisions remained strong.

The latest Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) showed construction activity went from 63.6 percent in May down to 58.2 percent in June. However, if it is above 50 percent then that means the sector is growing.

Housing activity sector of the index went from 69.2 percent in May to 59.5 percent in June. Commercial activity reads at 60.8 percent in June from 65.2 percent in May. Civil engineering dropping from 51.8 percent in May to 48.4 percent in June.

Despite the sector growing, it still has not hit the target level of 25,000 new housing units every year, according to the Economic and Social Research Institute. Last year, the Department of Housing estimated a total of …

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