Start-up to Cause Shift in Housing Market

As I have previously written, the Irish housing market is currently experiencing a great crisis. With nearly no answers, the public is scrambling to find a way out, a way to the surface of all this financial distress.

This is where the Irish start-up Moove comes into play.

They’re entering the market with a goal to disrupt the market and give buyers and seller more choices and control during the sale of a home.

Yet to fully enter the Irish market, they are basing and forecasting the success of their business on the hybrid online model, currently based in the UK.

This model is currently offering sellers savings up to 7,200 euro!

Founder of Moove, David Madden started his career at the age of 17 as an estate agent at his parent’s business.

Having worked in the real estate business for many years, he has great potential in the start-up of such an inventive company.

Moove is designed to provide the same services one would find from a regular real estate agent, starting at a base cost of 1,800 euro.

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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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Help-to-buy incentive under scrutiny

This past Sunday, current Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy said on RTE’s The Week in Politics that the Help-to-Buy initiative introduced by his predecessor is currently under review. Since its introduction in January under former Finance Minister Michael Noonan and former Housing Minister Simon Coveney, the Help-to-Buy initiative has already received nearly 7,000 applicants and has successfully helped a great percentage of them with the purchase or building of their first home. However, the initiative has recently come under fire for exacerbating the problems it intended to solve, and there is speculation that it may be dissolved.

 

The purpose of the Help-to-Buy incentive was to encourage first buyers to enter the market by helping applicants with their deposit through the refund of applicants’ income tax and DIRT other the past 4 years. It applies to first time buyers who either purchase or build new residential properties, and allows them to receive 5% of the purchase price of their new home, with an upward limit of €20,000. It is hoped that the incentive would help more people climb the property ladder, …

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First time buyers who don’t buy new homes

First time buyers have been asking ‘what about those of us who are not buying a new home? Why don’t we get any help like the people using help to buy?’. The answer is that you do, at least for the remainder of 2017.

There is still a DIRT relief for first time buyers scheme in action, it started in 2014 and is ongoing until the 31st of December.

The scheme doesn’t help you get a deposit, rather it’s a refund after you buy, see the notes below taken from the Revenue.ie website:

Section 266A of the Taxes Consolidation Act 1997 provides for refunds of Deposit Interest Retention Tax (DIRT) for first-time buyers who purchase a house or apartment to live in as their home. It also applies to first time buyers who self-build a home to live in.

Who can claim it?

A first-time buyer of a house or apartment who purchases or self-builds a property between 14 October 2014 and 31 December 2017 may be entitled to claim a refund of DIRT.

The first-time buyer must not have …

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Making sense of ‘help to buy’

Yesterday Revenue announced the details of the new ‘help to buy’ scheme. It is designed to make buying a home more realistic for first time buyers and to increase the supply of new homes. Whether it’s a good or bad idea is beside the point, what most people want to know is how it works so here’s the breakdown.

It’s a scheme to allow first time buyers buying a new home to get a rebate of up to 5% of the purchase price or contract price (whichever is the lower) from income tax and DIRT tax paid in the past four tax years to a maximum of €20,000. The property must cost less than €500,000 or 600k for retrospective applications, the size of the loan versus the value of the property must also be 70% or more.

So, for every €100,000 of value you must be borrowing at least €70,000 the idea being that very cash rich buyers don’t need this help. It started on the 19th of July 2016 and goes until the 31 Dec 2019.

Now that it’s …

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Pat Kenny Show on Newstalk 106, featuring Irish Mortgage Brokers

Pat Kenny had Lorcan Sirr from DIT and Karl Deeter from our company on to talk about the property market in particular in light of the changes announced by the Central Bank.

The conversation covered many topics in the market and outlined where so many issues in housing are arising.

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The unaffordability index of Irish housing

This picture speaks a thousand words and in many cases tens of thousands of earnings that a person would have to have in order to afford an average home in different parts of the country. We used recent data from the Daft report and then broke it down into borrowings and compared that to average wages.

The column after ‘county’ is the average price in that region. If we assume a first time buyer will typically want a 90% mortgage we then look at the amount of earnings they’d need to have in order to get the loan.

The last column is where the real story lies, it compares prices in the area to average wages taken from the CSO.

Anything in a white cell with a minus is very affordable, anything in black means you’d have to be earning above average wage to buy a property in the area.

If the cell has a red background that is showing you where the difference is greater than €10,000.

It’s fairly clear that cities and in some cases …

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2016 Mortgage lending rules submission by Irish Mortgage Brokers

We sent our research and thoughts on the lending rules to the Central Bank as part of their industry consultation process regarding the existing mortgage lending rules.

While we are critical of them in particular for first time buyers, we haven’t had an issue on other aspects of it (such as controls for investors). The submission argues with supporting evidence for 90% loans for first time buyers to be available generally but to keep other controls generally in place, or to do nothing at all and give the adjustments more time to bed in.

Submission is here: 2016 Central Bank macroprudential rules submission Irish Mortgage Brokers

The findings of a survey carried out by Behavior and Attitudes of clients of Irish Mortgage Brokers, DNG and Hooke & MacDonald which was mentioned in the press is also available here: 2016 MacroPrudential review – survey findings

 

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Newstalk: Breakfast show speaks to Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were pleased to feature on Newstalk’s ‘Breakfast Show’ this week, to our surprise we became an association! To clarify, that was just a title oversight by the presenter, we are still our plain old regular selves working as brokers.

The piece was questioning the validity or need for first time buyer type grants and what it could mean for both buyers and the industry.

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Newstalk have Irish Mortgage Brokers on to discuss Central Bank rules

We were speaking on Newstalk about Central Bank rules and the impact they are having on different parts of the market. Some of the notable moments are mentioned below:

Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers & Advisors.ie noted that high mortgage deposits are forcing people to stay in rented accommodation and fueling the housing shortage.

Deeter said: “If you’ve got people who have to come up with an extra €20,000 and they’re looking to save that, they end up renting a house for much longer than they would have. But because of that what you’re seeing is that they’re staying in a certain sector where the supply isn’t coming on board.

“It’s driving up rents. That’s almost like an additional tax which makes savings harder. It doesn’t mean that house sales have stopped or the prices aren’t rising; they are but it’s just that people aren’t borrowing to do it”.

The full story is on the Newstalk website here.

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