Intriguing Statistics of First-Time Buyers

Perfect Property has recently found success in finding the common budget of the average house hunter in Dublin.

While in such a crisis, this is information that has been found is essentially vital in understanding a piece to the puzzle of what keeps buyers from buying.

Of course, there are statistics on the shortage of homes compared to the increasing demand, a factor into understanding the crisis that is just as vital.

According to Perfect Property, a relatively new search engine, the average Dublin house hunter has a budget of €315,000 to purchase a home with.

A pretty substantial budget for any home buyer, however, we are still observing a vast amount of first-time buyers applying for the new state mortgage scheme, introduced just a few months prior.

A scheme that was expected to cover nearly 1,000 loans and last for an extended period of time is now lucky if it lasts the full year.

Of course, when looking in the Dublin area it can be expected that the budget for a home will …

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Borrowers Looking to Lower Existing Mortgages

Now, more than ever, it’s time that homeowners do whatever they can to lower their mortgages.

With the rise in European interest rates, it is expected that higher mortgages bills will be quick to follow.

Homeowners are beginning to get more and more comfortable as economic recovery since the recession has been tracked as going in such a positive way.

By overpaying on a mortgage the borrower will knock tens of thousands off of their mortgage easily. And they would dramatically cut back on the time it takes to finally become mortgage free.

According to Dowling financial, by an increase of 100 euro per monthly payment, the average mortgage would be paid off three years earlier and save nearly 12,826 euro in interest.

A small increase in payments leads to quite a substantial savings. Probably an effort worth it to most borrowers.

Those that should keep their guard up and remain mindful are those with a fixed rate mortgage.

Overpaying on fixed-rate mortgages could cause borrowers to be hit with an early redemption fee. A charge that could potentially be …

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Affordable Home Schemes

With the current housing crisis in the midst of the country, many plans have been developed to get the country out of its current slump. Some merely get laughed at, while others are well on their way to implementation within the housing market. It is likely that before long these effects will take a toll in the market and we will begin to see some upward movement in home buyer confidence.

The government has been quick to release multiple initiatives set out with the goal to turn the crisis around and allow the market to begin looking up. The Home Loan Scheme recently announced by the government is designed with the strategic plan to provide low-cost mortgages to first time home buyers.

With the first announcement of such a plan, many home buyers are thinking; is this too good to be true? As they have been waiting for an extended period of time for some light to be shed on the crisis that allows them to finally move into the homeowner sector.

The Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan …

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The Mortgage Rate War

Good news is underway for those looking to enter the housing market, but find borrowing rates to be making it too expensive.

There’s a mortgage rate war.

Though this term sounds less than appealing, it is a war in favor of getting lower rates to borrowers and moving more first time buyers into the housing market.

As discussed in a previous posting, Ulster bank recently announced dramatic cuts in their variable and fixed mortgage rates.

The question racking everyone’s brain after such an announcement was, will other banks fall in line to stay competitive in the market?

Ulster caused increased competition in the market and even more so, posed a threat to the other banks.

These other banks were beginning to notice that in order to stay competitive they only had one choice…

To get to Ulster Bank levels or face the result that they may lose all new entrants into the market as well as some of the old.

Shortly after the announcement of Ulster Bank to reduce their mortgage rates, followed KBC …

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Will Ulster Bank Dominate the Housing Market

Recently, Ulster Bank, a major mortgage lending bank, announced a drastic interest rate cut down to a 2.3% fixed rate for two years. Essentially blowing their competitors out of the water.

Against all other players in the market, the Ulster Bank is offering the lowest rate of all.

Ulster’s closest competitors, being the center at Haven Mortgages with a fixed rate set at 2.8%. All other banks showing rates setting at 3% – 3.2%.

The lingering question after this announcement by Ulster is, will we be seeing a shift in other banks to lower their rates as well?

This is an important question for the borrowers as well as the lenders for it impacts the business trend between banks.

If the competing banks believe they need to to stay competitive then it is likely that we will, however, if they have the advantage to keep them ahead of their competitors then they will have no need.

It is hard to say for sure if the other banks will follow in suit and lower their interest rates but that is genuinely …

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Irish Housing Market Trends

Ireland has seen a hit take place in recent years as property market seems to be downsizing. Families, with two full-time working partners, are finding it difficult to afford houses at their current increasing costs.

It has even been reported by Mark Keenan, a writer for business property and mortgages that working families are struggling to rent as well.

The average working couple in Ireland is earning a combined income of 70,000 euros. This is far below what a couple needs to earn to afford a home today.

It is reported that the average home in Dublin is now priced at mid 400,000 levels. Much more than what the average working couple could afford.

In just the last three months, there has been a multiple week increase to sell a home in Dublin. The housing market is slowing down and it’s slowing down fast.

Why is it that homes are being put on the market for such high prices? It could be that those selling the homes are finding it hard to sell for less …

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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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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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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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Mortgage approval rates are surging

The amount of mortgages approvals increased by a third last month. The vast majority was first-time buyers.

With mortgage approval rates increasing, we can expect property prices to keep rising.

The Banking and Payments Federation figures also showed the amount of the approvals is increasing.

A reason for rapid increase could be from Eoghan Murphy, the Housing Minister, reviewing the Help-to-Buy scheme. This review is a result of the Help-to-Buy scheme being accused of inflating house prices.

The increase of approvals does not mean an increase in mortgage drawdowns, as finding a home increases in difficulty. With the housing shortage, houses for sale have multiple offers so you have to outbid the others.

Forecasts predict mortgage lending to go up from €5.7 billion last year to €7.5 billion this year. Within the next three years it might even reach €13 billion.

Mortgage approvals were up from 3,046 last May to 4,124 this May. That makes a 35 percent increase in a year.

We can expect to see an increase of competition among mortgage lending banks with lower interest rates or …

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