No Bailouts, no free lunches

If you were to describe the world of finance or investment as a ‘jungle’ then it would be a fair comparison to say that the first rule of the jungle, the core principle of it, and that which must remain as a central tenet is this: Investors who take a risk should always lose if that risk doesn’t pay off, equally they should always reap the reward if it does.

Seems simple right? Wrong, we are seeing the build up for a bail out in the press on a near constant basis, the majority of which is pointing towards the construction sector or the financial sector. This is all totally wrong, and it goes against any right thinking concept of capitalism or free markets.

Banks in particular don’t like regulation and press constantly for free market principles, so they of all …

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Irish Mortgage Lenders, who provides mortgages in Ireland

This post is a brief account of the residential mortgage providers in the Irish mortgage market, a brief look at who they are and what kind of lending they are involved in. Many people have no idea who is who, or who owns who so this should help to clarify some of that. Of course, as a broker we can help guide you through the myriad of lenders and options, but even our expertise is not an adequate replacement

The list of lenders in residential mortgages are (in no particular order)

1. IIB Homeloans 2. Haven 3. PTsb 4. First Active 5. EBS 6. Irish Nationwide 7. ACC Bank 8. Bank of Ireland 9. Springboard 10. Start Mortgages 11. Nua Homeloans 12. GE Money 13. Leeds Building Society 14. Bank of Scotland 15. ICS 16. NIB 17. Ulsterbank 18. AIB

Who they are and what kind of lending do they do?

1. IIB Homeloans: This is ‘Irish Intercontinental Bank’ and they were once owned by Irish Life, they then got bought out by

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Mortgages in Ireland, a little bit about mortgage brokers.

Just a quick note to readers, Irish Mortgage Brokers is an intermediary, we go between you and the bank to arrange finance. You can go direct yourself and get the same mortgage, however, over half of the market uses and intermediary to arrange their finance, this is normally because they don’t really how to get a mortgage in Ireland or because they find using a broker easier than dealing with the job directly. And some people just prefer the personal touch of a broker over that of call centres and branches.

If you want to find the best Irish mortgage rates you can do so in a simple phone call or online application, click on the ‘home’ button above and apply over the web or call us on 01 6790990 and an agent will be able to assist you. The people we tend to work with are clients looking for a First Time mortgage in Ireland, people who want to find out how to remortgage a property, commercial lending, and trading up/down.

We are regulated by the Financial Regulator as …

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Save or get a mortgage?

The current market probably confounds many consumers, should you be saving in order to have a bigger deposit in the belief that the property market has bottomed out? Or do you buy now in the belief that the market has bottomed out and that any potential equity loss is worthwhile?

I met with an economist yesterday who shall remain nameless, but he made an excellent point, if you are buying a house to stay in yourself then really what you are doing is giving up future earnings in order to obtain an asset today, if that asset price goes down then it means that potentially you sacrificed a portion of your future earnings that you didn’t have to but most importantly it was all based on future earnings, and because that is somewhere down the line it was not really a ‘loss making’ proposition. This guy was and is a property bear but primarily on the investor side. It was an interesting point of view and one that I had not really considered in the past.

As a mortgage broker …

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Peer to peer lending, maybe there is an alternative to banks?

Have you ever lent a friend a tenner? If so you already understand ‘peer to peer‘ lending, this is where one person lends money to another person and there is no bank or other intermediary involved. Traditionally it has been a case of letting a person borrow some money until payday and then they’ll give it back to you, traditionally this was also an interest free proposition, not only because the amount of time the money spent borrowed was generally short term but also for cultural reasons, because lets be frank, if a mate asked for ‘interest’ on a loan for a week or two you’d think of them as an incurable scab.

The current liquidity crisis is hitting banks the hardest, this means that the very stalwarts of the financial world are the ones that don’t have the money to lend out, however, there are many individuals who do and this presents the opportunity for a market niche. The market has responded in the form of enabling technology which connect a borrower …

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Text message lending, an untapped market in Ireland?

There is an untapped market in Ireland for text message lending, a type of lending that is common in Finland and Sweden. Recent articles about ‘mobile lending’ focus primarily on the downside of it, because the fees for borrowing tend to be relatively high. How high? In some cases more than 1,500% which is extortionate, having said that it only comes out like this if you look at a flat fee (minimal lending fees apply) and work it out as an Annual Rate which is not comparing like for like.

How does mobile lending or text message lending work? You send a text message containing the amount you want, along with some personal information such as your address, personal I.D. number and your bank account number and this is enough to do a comprehensive credit check, if your credit record is clear then in many cases within three minutes you are approved and the money arrives in your bank account. The loan is totally unsecured.

Normally the loan has to be paid within a certain short period such as a …

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Euribor, the distant cousin of the ECB base rate

We have written in the past about tracker mortgages becoming an endangered species. It seems that now we are witnessing the demise of them, the interbank rates and the ECB have become so disparate to each other that one is no longer an accurate gauge of the other. What does that mean?

The ECB is the rate set by the European Central Bank, and it is the ‘base rate’ (currently 4.25%), but banks can’t generally borrow at that price and instead they buy on the ‘interbank‘ market, this is the largest market in the world in which over 1.9 Trillion is traded every single day! It is how banks access the ‘Euribor‘ market (European interbank offered rate). This is basically run as an auction and because liquidity is an issue we have seen the prices of the Euribor rise and rise, demand is outstripping supply.

Why is the Euribor rising? Simply put, fractional banking means that banks must have a constant inflow of money …

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The next movement of the ECB

The ECB has always had inflation, or more accurately the ‘control of inflation’ as its only guiding light. The ECB raised rates by 0.25% on the 3rd of July and now it is time to wait and watch, to see what they will do next. While we don’t possess a crystal ball what we can do is take a brief look at the world and how some market movements may shape the next meeting of the ECB.

We are (worldwide) in an inflationary environment, in Vietnam inflation is at 25%! The highest it has been since the Vietnam War. The government there is trying to stop the importation of gold, because the Vietnamese have surpassed both China and India in the levels of gold consumption, in the first quarter of 2008 they imported over 38 tonnes. Why is this happening, and what does it have to do with the ECB?

The ‘Dong‘ is a fiat currency that was born in 1978, after the war, the currency that existed prior to that the French …

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Irish Mortgage Brokers: Not the subject of Primetime report.

Primetime did a special last night on a company called MoneyZone who are part of Irish Mortgage Corporation, today I got an email asking if we were the company featured on the show.

No we are not, we have similar names to our competitor IMC but we are a totally different organization and having no connections whatsoever to them.

The show was about ‘sub-prime’ lending and it focused on how IMC dealt with a customer who was an undercover reporter. Brendan Burgess (he runs the popular finance website ask about money and is the former Chairman of the Financial Regulators Consumer Panel) was commenting from the consumer and compliance perspective.

Here are some of the extracts:

IMC Male Broker: “to be honest its all about if the regulator or somebody goes into the bank they say ‘why did you approve them?’and they quite simply go ‘there’s the lodgements, there’s the money going through” the broker then went on to explain …

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First time buyers didn't, don't, and won't ever have it easy.

Recently the credit crunch has taken a whole new turn, and the way it is affecting the Irish mortgage market is of interest to anybody who has a mortgage. Today’s post will be about the changing position of first time buyers, the end of 100% mortgages.

First time buyers never had it easy, that’s my theory and here’s why: before stamp duty reform they had to pay for any property that was over €127,000 (an old £100,000 before the €uro came in) and that could not be borrowed, it had to be saved, during the time that prices were in that region the wages were much lower and stamp duty was a definite drawback to prospective home owners, on top of that they had to come up with a deposit of 10% which was also difficult because of the taxation system here. Then we all got a bit more prosperous, the Celtic tiger started to roar, cheap money became available and prices shot up. The old first time buyers were now owner occupiers basking in equity and that was fine, …

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