DON’T GIVE UP YOUR TRACKER MORTGAGE!

The news has has several stories recently about banks contacting clients and asking them if they would like to come off their tracker mortgage and instead go on a fixed rate or even a variable rate. The assertion is that if you have a fixed rate during a downturn that you are ‘protected’ from changes in the ECB rate changes.

That is true, but you are also protecting yourself from upside advantage. In a nutshell, during a downturn there are some monetarist moves that Central Banks will make, such as dropping rates to increase the movement of money in an economy, if you are on a fixed rate you don’t get the rate reduction and the outlook for at least the near future is that rates are going to come down. On those grounds alone you would have to question the rationale of a …

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ECB Cut Rates by 0.5% bringing the ECB base rate to 3.75%

The ECB rate change has given many of us a pleasant surprise, the ECB has cut rates by 0.5% giving a new base rate of 3.75%. For many of us that means new lower mortgage repayments (if you are on a tracker mortgage) for people on variables you will have to adopt a ‘wait and see’ approach because banks are not obliged to pass on the rate change. The pressure is coming down at least for now.

[Take note: this is not a ‘positive’ rate cut, it can have a positive result but the motivation behind it raises questions about the solvency and losses of major institutions as well as the threat of deflation.]

So, why would a bank opt to not pass on a rate reduction? Simply put, the income from many tracker mortgages does not cover the cost of funds that banks run on and therefore it would not make commercial sense to give people …

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A different idea for bailing out the property sector.

There is a bailout coming, we saw the makings of it for a long time, first there was the talk of the central bank about the underlying strength of Irish financial institutions, the constant lobbying for something to be done for the property & construction sector, then articles stating blatantly that a bailout would occur if there were problems. Now we have read that the government are going to make plans to help first time buyers because mortgage funding is not as readily available as it used to be.

Let us start on the right foot, first time buyers never had it easy to begin with (I actually did an article on this exact topic before – click here). They were either being hit with stamp duty, the need for deposits or other issues. Now the Government are looking to bail out people who haven’t even bought property yet and that is an error.

There are a few …

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Tom Parlon, preaching to the subverted.

I don’t often take swipes in this blog but today there is a difference, somebody or some one (preferably a qualified psychiatric professional) has to have a serious one to one with Tom Parlon of the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) because he has finally crossed the Rubicon that divides reality from fantasy land and turned his attention towards the utterly insane, namely by stating in the Sunday Business Post that the solution to the economy is more houses.

Just when we are hearing how there is a massive oversupply, how in three years 250,000 houses were built to satisfy a demand of about 130,000 required, and when prices are falling out he comes with this little gem. Supply outstrips demand, and his response is ‘more supply’. Perhaps it would be wiser for the CIF to employ an actual builder or engineer to do his job rather than a politician who has no experience in doing the job of the people he represents.

In his article he points out that for every 10,000 houses built that …

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Debt Reduction blog: 11th September 2008

There are two types of debt, good and bad. It really is that simple, broadly speaking there is personal debt and investment debt. Personal debt would be anything that is spent on assets likely to depreciate rapidly (some would argue housing belongs in there recently!) or that has no ongoing inherent wealth creation once used. If you were to say that with the two debt types they can be either good or bad then personal debt would lean to the ‘bad debt’ side, although it doesn’t mean it’s an actual bad debt in the sense that payments are being missed.

An example of this would be money spent on a car, clothes, furniture etc. with personal debt you should always try to ensure you have a good reason for incurring it in the first place, not simply out of ‘ease of use’. If your car broke down a new (new can also be second hand!) car may be warranted, a new car for the craic may be affordable but from a debt perspective its deplorable.

Then we get onto what …

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Debt reduction & personal finance weekly blog Aug 25th 2008

Today I will give you a tip about the single best way to reduce and avoid debt, it is perhaps the most effective method known to man. Here it is…

“Don’t borrow any more money”

Simple enough to almost make you feel conned I bet? The fact is that debt begets debt and if you enter into a lifelong debt cycle it is something that is virtually impossible to free yourself from. The very first step towards financial freedom and a life out of debt is to realise this fact and to come up with a solution.

Some people think that if they consolidate loans that they will then have more money, but what do most of them do with this ‘extra money’? Save it? Or do they then get more debt and the extra money thus goes into the debt vortex as well?

All good ideas have an exit plan [one of the very reasons Iraq was such a terrible idea to begin with], and you can make yours. To do this you have to decide how you will …

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Debt reduction & personal finance weekly blog Aug 25th 2008

Today I will give you a tip about the single best way to reduce and avoid debt, it is perhaps the most effective method known to man. Here it is…

“Don’t borrow any more money”

Simple enough to almost make you feel conned I bet? The fact is that debt begets debt and if you enter into a lifelong debt cycle it is something that is virtually impossible to free yourself from. The very first step towards financial freedom and a life out of debt is to realise this fact and to come up with a solution.

Some people think that if they consolidate loans that they will then have more money, but what do most of them do with this ‘extra money’? Save it? Or do they then get more debt and the extra money thus goes into the debt vortex as well?

All good ideas have an exit plan [one of the very reasons Iraq was such a terrible idea to begin with], and you can make yours. To do this you have to decide how you will …

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Debt Reduction Blog. What happens if you miss mortgage payments? August 16th 2008

A question we are sometimes asked is ‘what do we do if rates rise and we find it hard to make payments?’. The root of the answer lies in not getting into debt you may not be able to service in the first place, having said that the home of your dreams is not always going to be sold at a dream price and many people are feeling an increasing debt burden in 2008. This is down to a slowing economy, redundancies, increased margins on loans, and ECB rate increases.

Today’s post will have some simple tips about money management and ways to avoid bad debt. For a start you need to get a piece of paper and write down guaranteed outgoings, such as mortgages, personal loans, credit cards, groceries etc. If there is a hierarchy in what requires priority food comes first then further down the line debts, for debts (if you ever have to make that choice of which one not to pay) make sure you pay your mortgage first, and personal loans further down the line.

However, …

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The demise of 100% Mortgages

Mortgages in Ireland continue to evolve, with 100% mortgages in Ireland now a thing of the past. We saw the 100% mortgage products die off here in 2008 because of falling asset prices, the credit crunch and liquidity problems banks are having. Assuming a mortgage will always be less than the value of a property is a misconception and for that reason many people are finding themselves in negative equity.

However, that isn’t the end of the world, if you are in negative equity the loss is ‘real’ but not ‘realised’ unless you sell up at a loss. This is perhaps not a cure but it gives some perspective to dealing with the situation. Our firm have been brokers in Dublin for quite some time, and combined we have over 100 years of experience in helping our clients get the cheapest mortgage rates and to make financial plans, however, in the current environment more than ever we are finding that broker advice is vital because there is literally so much at stake for peoples finances. Property is taking a hit, …

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FSA warns banks, but will the Irish Regulator follow suit?

The FSA (Financial Services Authority) has warned specialist lenders that it has extreme reservations over how they are handling some arrears cases which may ultimately end in repossession. They felt that many lenders were overly ready to take court action against borrowers irrespective of their individual circumstances and that they focused purely on regaining the arrears.

From a lenders perspective this is a concern, if the FSA starts to come out in support of people who don’t repay their loans it can spell disaster for the financial institutions who lent out the money in good faith, if there is a prevailing belief that ‘you dont’ have to repay because the government is behind you’ it will send out the wrong message and creating an ‘unwillingness’ to repay debts and that won’t stop with banks, it can permeate into many aspects of the economy, right down to companies not paying eachother. Thankfully, the FSA stopped short of saying that they would get behind people in arrears and instead tried to keep …

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