How to Choose the Best Mortgage Lenders in Ireland

Currently, there are 10 mortgage lenders in Ireland. These include Ulster Bank, ParmanentTSB, KBC Bank Ireland, ICS Mortgages, Haven, Finance Ireland, EBS, Bank of Ireland, Avant Money, and Allied Irish Banks. All of these mortgage lenders are financial institutions which give home loans to people who aspire to own a home.

You are probably thinking about how to pick the best of the 10. When choosing the lender that best suits your need, the major factor to take into consideration is the amount of mortgage you want to borrow. Each of the 10 mortgage lenders in Ireland will make an assessment of your assets, debt, and credit score, each differently. You should note that the Loan to Value Ration (LTV) is  the most important pieces of information that the lenders will look. LTV is calculated by dividing the money you are borrowing with the property’s estimated value. With the LTV, the lender will be able to understand the risks involved with lending you the mortgage. Normally, the LTV of a loan is 80 percent or less. It is important to …

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What will the Local Property Tax changes mean for you?

On 2 June 2021, Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe confirmed the details of the Local Property Tax (LPT) changes. Once the changes go into effect on 1 November, the government estimates that just over a third (36 percent) of property owners will see an increase on their bill, just over half (53 percent) will see no change at all, and 11 percent will see their tax payments reduced.

First off, what is the Local Property Tax? The Local Property Tax was introduced in 2013, and it is an annual charge on all residential properties in the State. Basically, if you own a residential property, you will have to pay this tax. The charges are currently based on self-assessed valuations carried out in 2013. The amount you pay is based on the valuation of your property, and there are 20 different LPT bands, with the lowest two having fixed rate charges of €90 and €225. The problem with these valuations is that property prices have surged since 2013, while the valuations of property for LPT purposes have not changed since 1 May 2013. …

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Is state intervention required to stop ‘cuckoo’ funds from buying homes?

We spoke to Newstalk about the idea of whether the state needs to intervene to stop ‘cuckoo’ funds from buying up homes. This is because the sale of a housing estate became a national press story due to a fund coming in to buy it up.

It is understandable that people are upset, there are buyers who had set their hopes on living in those properties, but that emotion can’t eradicate the fact that renters are people too and they also need homes, family homes. Or that there are people who may not want to buy or can’t afford to who need family homes.

These things all need to be considered and it isn’t as simple as saying it’s universally good or bad, the clip will help to make this clear.

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Costs you Should be Aware of before Buying a House

There are more costs associated with buying your first home than just the 10% deposit. There are many additional fees, duties and taxes that you should be aware of before buying your home. 

 

The first fee you should be aware of is the stamp duty. The stamp duty is not included in your mortgage, so it’s a good idea to save this fee up in addition to your 10% deposit. The stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price on a home or residential property of up to €1m, and 2% of the selling price on homes and residential properties above €1m. This stamp duty may change however, and full details are available on the Revenue.ie website. 

Legal fees are another hidden cost of buying a home that you should look out for. There are a lot of legal aspects that have to be accounted for when officially transferring ownership of the property to you, so you should find a trusted real estate lawyer to take care of this transfer. Legal fees will vary depending on …

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Has Covid-19 Permanently Changed the Work Landscape?

The government says so. In a time where so many people in Ireland and across the globe have switched to remote working due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, employers and employees alike have been forced to adapt. With more than a year of remote working under their belts, people have been able to observe the many benefits and drawbacks that come with remote working.

 

Now, the Government’s National Remote Work Strategy aims to encourage remote working after the pandemic. The government says its main objective is to “ensure remote work is a permanent feature in the Irish workplace” in the future.  In this strategy, the government breaks down what it believes to be the benefits and challenges that come with working remotely during a pandemic. There are several benefits, including improving work/life balance, more time spent with children and family, and reducing the amount of time spent commuting. However, there are several challenges, particularly when it comes to mental health of employees. In a virtual workspace,  employees  often experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, and stress. Another benefit is the …

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Are capital requirements for Irish banks too high?

In the aftermath of the financial crash of 2008, the European debt crisis, and the Irish banking crisis, in 2014 regulations were passed aimed at promoting higher banking standards to prevent similar crises in the future.

The first of these rules states that all Irish banks have initial starting capital of at least €5 million; they must always be in excess of this amount. Further, lenders have claimed that they must hold up to three times the capital for mortgages relative to average requirements throughout the rest of the EU.

These regulations largely seem to have accomplished the job they were instated, with the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI) stating that there has been an increase in high quality loans and a corresponding decrease in problem loans.

However, there has been criticism as of late for the continued implementation of these rules, and for the harsh conditions they impose on lenders. It is possible that borrowers are also adversely affected by extension. For instance, it is claimed by major Irish banks that the high capital requirements are …

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Types of mortgages and lending rules

Irish law has specialized sets of lending rules depending on the type of mortgage application. Types of applications are split into three different categories: first-time buyers, remortgaging or switching, and buy-to-let buyers. Depending on which of these categories an application falls under, different loan-to-value (LTV) and loan-to-income (LTI) limits will be used. The former refers to the minimum deposit a borrower must have on a home before getting a mortgage loan. The latter refers to the maximum amount of money borrowers can receive in relation to their yearly gross income; while this is normally capped at 3.5 times one’s income, lenders can provide additional allowances of varying amount depending on the type of application.

Firstly, there are first-time buyers. These applicants are those buying a house for the first time, so the deposit required by LTV limits is understandably less steep. They will need to have a minimum deposit of 10% of the home’s total value. For example, if the price of a home is listed as €250,000, a 10% deposit would amount to €25,000. Lenders are allowed to have …

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The legacy of the “Double Irish” loophole

The “Double Irish” was one of the most notorious tax loopholes, used by large firms for decades since the 1990s. It was base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS) method used by many notable entities, including but not limited to Apple, Google, Microsoft, and more. Though closed in 2014, the loophole remained open to firms already using it until 2020. Even since its closure, there are concerns that firms that had used it previously will just shift to using different methods. Overall, this and similar methods used have had a substantial impact on Ireland’s financial system and records, something that is still being addressed today.

The Double Irish was conducted via the following steps. First, a U.S. corporate entity would develop a product or software for a price, and then sell it to a wholly owned subsidiary in Bermuda. Next, the company in Bermuda would revalue it as an intangible asset of a far greater price, as Bermuda is tax free. The Bermuda subsidiary would then license it to another subsidiary in Ireland for the same price. Important to note is …

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Who is buying houses in Ireland for cash? A look at cash buyers in 2021

With fewer homes entering the housing market, and a large amount of demand that is being unmet due to that, the Irish government incentives like “Help to Buy” have only just started to affect rising forecasted housing prices in 2021. But even so, there has been little effect in the market by people that are known as “cash buyers”.

Cash Buyers may not be the people that first come to mind. They’re not exactly the people that pay upfront the entire mortgage, because let’s be realistic, who has ever done that? Cash buyers are investors, and their acquisitions are mostly funded by debt in terms of purchasing power. This is where they get the name “cash buyers” from. Despite the pandemic in 2020, these cash buyers were still highly active in the market. Statistics show that over 1.75 billion euro were invested by investors from European property firms like the LRC. While, it was still down from 2019 when it was pre-pandemic times, where the overall investment was 2.5 billion euro, there was still a significant amount of money being …

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The Last Word on TodayFM features Irish Mortgage Brokers, 30/04/2020

We were part of a discussion around Covid19 and mortgages on Matt Cooper’s ‘The Last Word’ show on Today FM yesterday. The other participant was Brian Hayes of the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland.

For our part we were impressed with the fact that the banks have been able to do more than 2,000 mortgage restructures per working day since the pandemic driven mortgage breaks were announced. To put that in perspective, it took six years to do 100,000 restructures after the financial crisis. This time around that figure could be achieved in a little over two months, that is something to be commended.

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