Late loan payments continue to rise

The Central Bank of Ireland reports that the total amount of mortgages that are now classified as long-term arrears have hit record highs, topping the charts at almost 6 billion euro. There are many types of properties that can and have become part of this number, but the largest group tends to be that of more residential properties.

In the previous quarter, mortgages in arrears were down significantly. Sadly, the largest category in mortgages in arrears, residential properties that are two years or above in late payments, is still increasing. The buy-to-let sector has been the largest subcategory of residential properties in arrears; 17.62% of the total is in arrears.

In April 2019, only 118 of all applications of mortgages for buy-to-let properties were approved while in April 2018 154 mortgages were approved. There was a 30% decrease within the same months separated by only one year, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland (BPFI).

This huge scale down may be due to Brexit, or perhaps the seeming unreliability of buy-to-let properties ability to bring in …

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Credit union caps

The change in the economic climate of Ireland in the last few months has caused many money lending institutions to change their policies. Credit unions are among the most common to change, with the current amount totaling 36 unions all across the state.

The largest adjustment to these businesses are focused around savings accounts of current members. People who are utilizing these saving tools are now being asked to keep their savings below a certain amount.

Some of the caps imposed on these deposit accounts range from €15,000 to €40,000, causing major problems for many of the current users. If an account is above the cap amount, the account owner is required to find an alternative place to store these additional funds in less than a month.

One of the largest draws towards credit unions for people is the ability to get higher interest rates on savings and lower interest rates on loans. High interest rates can be very beneficial on savings but without a significant amount of funds able to be held in an account you …

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Bank Refusal to Loan to First Time Buyers

Current issues with mortgage regulations are preventing many first time buyers who qualify for many exemptions from the harsh Central Bank mortgage rules. Data form Central Bank shows that only 17% of mortgages issued last year included mortgage exemptions. Lenders are entitled to issue exemptions for 20% of the value of the loans they issue to first time buyers. This gap in issuance of exemptions has left first time buyers are left desperate and frustrated by the difficult restrictions placed qualifying for mortgage exemptions. Exemptions are needed but people are not receiving them because of the scope for banks to lend more.

The requirements to qualify for the exemptions are extremely complex. This complexity of the rules of exemption is the reason why banks are unable to understand how many exemptions can be used, which in turn makes banks reluctant to approve exemptions. Qualifying for exemptions allow a minority of higher earning home buyers to borrow more than is allowed.

According to the Independent, it is estimated that banks have only issued income exemptions to 11% of first time …

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RTE Today with Sean O’Rourke has Irish Mortgage Brokers discussing cash buyers

The Today Show with Sean O’Rourke had us on to discuss an article written by Charlie Weston in the Indpendent about the strong level of cash buyers in the Irish property market. Marie Sherlock from Siptu the trade union was also on, what followed was a robust conversation where there was some interesting debate but also a lot of agreement on the problems, symptoms and solutions to the ills of the Irish property market.

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Newstalk Lunchtime, Wealth per capita now higher than back in the boom, 11th September 2018

Newstalk’s ‘Lunchtime’ with Ciara Kelly did a piece on new wealth statistics issued by the Central Bank which featured Karl Deeter from Irish Mortgage Brokers. It looked at the average wealth per person in Ireland and the point was made that property was a very large component of it. Other things that affect wealth were also discussed as well as some of the problems around using ‘averages’ to describe anything.

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TodayFM Last Word features Irish Mortgage Brokers and Joan Burton to discuss bank taxation

We took part in a conversation with Matt Cooper on The Last Word about bank taxation with Joan Burton from the Labour Party. We tried to make the point that short term thinking about bank taxation is a mistake, that we are better off getting the maximum amount of money back to the state rather than losing bank value in order to score a short term political win.

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WLR FM speak to Irish Mortgage Brokers about funds buying mortgage loans.

We were happy to take part with Maria on WLR FM about the loans that were being sold by Ulsterbank. We wanted to make the point that restructured loans that were making their payments were not going to be transferred and that many of these loans were many years in arrears (on the residential loans it is often 7 years behind). This indicates the loans are not sustainable, and that concluding the loans is probably a better outcome for all parties than the continued situation where the banks and borrowers are both in total denial. After a decade of this crisis it has come to the point where people have to accept that some homes will be lost but that sometimes those homes are empty, other times the person will get debt writedowns and that’s a good outcome too.

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Buy-To-Let Homes in Arrears

Why have recent reports been showing an increase in the number of mortgages being in arrears? More specifically the interest-only mortgages? And furthermore specifically, those on buy-to-let homes?

Interest only mortgages are typically mortgages that are seen to be taken by investors searching for a more affordable option to the standard mortgage scheme.

So, why has it been found that those who hold interest-only mortgages are more likely to be in arrears today?

In a recent study by the Central Bank, it was found that this is the case for investors on an interest-only mortgage deal for buy-to-let homes.

The surplus in interest-only mortgages that we are seeing today was initiated by buyers of high end and expensive properties during the last housing boom.

It is predicted now, that we will see a strong increase in the amount of homeowner to go into arrears as nearly a third of the interest-only mortgages have plans to make the switch to paying a traditional capital and interest mortgage from present 2018 to 2022.

It is not of a …

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How the Mortgage Market can Return to Normal Levels

Last week the Institute of Banking held a forum on behalf of the Irish Mortgage market in which Deputy Governor Ed Sibley delivered a speech addressing much of what is prevalent in the country today.

It began by briefing the current housing situation in Ireland. Simply put, it’s dreadful. As many are on the pursuit of suitable housing the “toxic legacies of the financial crisis” are proceeding to cause mayhem throughout the nation.

The forum started by discussing the role of the central bank. The central bank plays a much greater part in the overall mortgage market than one may think.

It is up to the central bank to ensure that “the economic and social good of mortgage provision is prudent, sustainable, and that the best interests of consumers are protected. “

The central bank has had to take extensive interventionist movements in the Irish mortgage market since the financial crisis as Ireland typically experiences extreme economic and human hardships when these certain risks arise.

In order for the mortgage market to function properly, consumers …

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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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