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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Is the Housing Gap Increasing?

With an attempt to lift the housing market out of the current crisis it’s in, the Irish government is left to answer one very important question. Is the Help to Buy scheme even helping?

Or…is it worsening the gap of the home hunters who are looking for the ability to buy?

As what is already well known, house prices are soaring. Without the supply of housing increasing at any fast rate, this will continue to be the case.

Therefore, home prices are continuing to rise, much faster than incomes are rising, and the gap between available homes and affordable homes is continuing to worsen.

When looking at reports from CSO, the average wage in Ireland is €45,075 for a full-time employee. That number is, however, much lower as a median, where most of the working class clusters. The median is found at €28,500. A drastic difference and even more of a surprise when finding that, that means, nearly half the population is below that number.

This is where the Help to Buy scheme comes into play.

Introduced just earlier this …

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When Vulture Funds Buy Mortgages

As vulture funds have been seen as taking over the market, the next question is, what do we do next? What happens after a vulture fund takes over your mortgage?

These funds first entered the Irish market at the end of the financial crisis and since, have remained a consistent factor in the mortgage game. Though many years have now passed since they were first introduced, there is still much uncertainty that remains with what exactly these funds are.

Vulture funds essentially entail the many forms of private equity firms and pension funds that exist with the goal of investing across many asset classes such as debt. Debt often acting in the form of mortgage arrears.

The question many are wondering is why? Why are these vulture funds deciding to buy the mortgages that are in arrears?

Due to post-financial crisis events, there was an extremely high number of mortgages that were in arrears as a direct effect, and many that will be in long-term arrears as well.

Because banks are generally not willing to write down any debt of …

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Irish Housing Market Full of Problems

Problems have been arising with mortgage interest rates in Ireland for quite some time now.  As there has been a worsened housing market and much conflict has arisen from it, the uncertainty of many different aspects have come to arise.

Many banks have had to make competitive advances in the market just to stay relative and appealing to their customers. The housing market has simply become a game in Ireland.

Without constant changing rates, their appeal would diminish, in turn, causing a fall in their overall customer base. A rapid decline in business would quickly be seen.

Most recently, Ulster Bank announced more drastic cuts to their interest rates that would, in turn, also affect their fixed rate mortgage offerings. This was done as a way to stay competitive as many other primary banks for lending have been recently seen as doing similar things.

The Irish housing market is offering customers some of the highest variable rates accessible across the eurozone. Ireland’s average variable rate stands at 3.37% while the rest of the eurozone has an average of just 1.8%. …

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Foundations of a Strong Housing Market

With the Irish housing market remaining at such a loss, it is important that we recognize what the core foundations are that act as a basis for continuing growth. By recalling these foundations and working to improve them, there is a stronger potential to understanding the true issue with the overall crisis.

Last year, Ireland experienced the highest number of home construction since 2009. With 19,271 homes built to create a growth of 29%. Though an impressive improvement, this number still falls substantially below the goal number of newly constructed homes.

This increase, though not the goal, is, however, a good sign of progress and hope for the housing market to finally return to regular levels.

Some other marginal improvements that can be noted in the market currently are; housing commencements were seen to increase by ⅓, the volume of building activity is at a high, and 13,842 new dwelling units have been approved for construction. All in which represent some of the highest improvements since 2009.

Though there are many positive things happening in the housing market, what we …

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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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Government Ignoring Social Housing Plans

In a time of a severe housing crisis, Ireland is looking for any way to lift the market and help people into homes at a price they can afford.

Recently, however, there was a turn of events that no one saw coming. The government has been accused of buying private sector homes rather than building social housing.

In an attempt to relieve the country from the housing shortage, the strategy was all wrong. By building social housing, the nation would have seen an incredible increase in the supply of available housing.

Something that is desperately needed.

Darragh O’Brien, a spokesperson on housing, is responsible for the gathering of the statistics in which proved that for at least the last two consecutive governments there has been nearly 1 billion euro of taxpayers money spent on the purchasing of private sector homes.

The data gathered, dating back to 2011!

These findings provide good reasoning to accuse Fine Gael of being overall opposed to the building of social housing.

An opposition that many wouldn’t agree with due to the high numbers of people …

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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 Slow Fall of Housing Prices

With the rising prices in the Ireland housing market continuing on their steep journey up, buyers in the market are slowly being priced out.

That is, they simply cannot afford to purchase homes anymore and are becoming less and less driven to continue their search.

With unrealistic prices seen all around the board and most steeply in the Dublin area, where housing demand is the highest, buyers are beginning to call off their hunt for homes.

What about the future?

How long will these buyers that choose to wait, be waiting, until they can comfortably afford their dream home?

With housing prices being upwards of 11.4 times more than the typical buyer’s disposable income in 2017, with an expected increase to be reported in 2018, it is likely it will be years before homebuyers are able to comfortably afford homes in the Dublin market.

It is likely that they will begin to look in the neighboring areas where prices are less competitive and there is less demand.

If, and when, housing price inflation regulates, it is possible there will be …

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