An Upscale Dorm for Adults

With reference to Co-living goes mainstream, but this is not roommate roulette by Diana Olick

A new housing trend called ‘co-living’ is an upgraded version of low cost living geared for young professionals. The concept of co-living works like a college dorm, complete strangers living in an apartment together with shared living spaces. The catch is every roommate has to sign their own lease so there is liability for their roommates.

The idea came from an increase of housing costs in Chicago and there was no place for two guys, Ryan Shear and Noah Gottlieb, to live so they created this new style targeted for the young professional. It gives another option for people moving to a new city who don’t want the liability of sharing a lease with a stranger but wants to meet new people. It comes with a bedroom and bathroom to yourself and a shared-furnished common area. There is also cleaning services that come and clean the common area.

Gottlieb found the demand to be stronger than expected in Chicago with average age of renters …

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More scandals from Wells Fargo: extending mortgages without customer knowledge

A series of new legal allegations have been bought against the bank, once again regarding its improper handling of customer accounts. This time, light has been shed on the company’s mortgage business, in which unauthorized changes were made to the loan terms on the mortgages of customers in bankruptcy.

 

Wells Fargo, a major American Bank headquartered in San Francisco, has been plagued by scandals and bad publicity in the past year. On September 8 of 2016, it was forced to pay $185 million in fines for its activities in opening more than 1.5 million bank accounts without its customers’ consent. The company’s culture demands its managers and employees to reach incredibly high quotas and targets, and directives stems from the very highest levels of management. CEO John Stumpf encouraged employees to create as many accounts from each customer as they possibly can, his infamously motto being “eight is great”.

 

Clearly, the bank still hasn’t learned from its past mistakes. New class action lawsuits filed by multiple …

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Highlights from the 2017 Macro-Financial Review

The Central Bank of Ireland published today it’s 2017 Macro-Financial Review. The report gives an overview of the Irish economy and the state of its financial environment. The aim of the report is to help protect the interests of the Bank’s stakeholders, these include: the Irish people, national and international authorities, and other participants in the financial market.

Sharon Donnery, the Central Bank’s deputy governor, introduced the report in a speech this morning. She states that the state of the general economy is improving, but also mentions a few outstanding issues that have the potential to negatively impact the economy’s improvement.

The report notes that much of the uncertainty in the Irish economy is a consequence of Brexit. The depreciation of the sterling against the euro and decreasing consumer spending in the UK has already put a burden on export industries. Uncertainties relating to Brexit may also arise from new trade barriers, trade policies and changes in international taxation.

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ECB Putting Pressure on Irish Banks?

European Central Bank is putting pressure on Ireland’s main banks to deal with the non-performing mortgages on their books. The banks are coming up with ways to remove these non-performing loans off their balance sheets. Considering the possibility of special purpose vehicles (SPV) that package all of the non-performing loans. They will need to sell the majority of the stake of the SPV to investors for them to remove it from their books. By creating SPVs, banks will still be able to service and have a stake in the mortgages. They are starting to create leads on investors currently.

With the ECB already overseeing a lot of the main banks in Ireland in the end of 2014, they have cut their average of 27% of non-performing loans off their balance sheet in 2013 to 14% at the end of 2016.

In the recent years, US private equity firms have refinanced millions of non-performing loans from Irish lenders. Showing a demand for such bonds because of the great success of residential mortgage backed securitisation. The banks will need to structure any …

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What Brexit Means for the Irish Economy: a pro and a con

With UK Prime Minister Theresa May failing to win a majority in elections last week, the fate of Brexit negotiations have become even more up in the air. It is likely that she will be forced to give concessions the opposition, and thus take a softer stance on the terms of Brexit. Despite the specifics of the negotiation still being uncertain, it has become obvious that the Irish Economy will be hurt by declining trade with the UK and will at the same time benefit from the relocation of multinational corporations from the UK to Ireland.

The UK is one of the top destinations for Irish exports. In 2015, 12% of Irish exports went to the UK, valuing at $12.9 billion. However, Brexit will force terms of trade between the UK and Ireland to be re-examined. While Ireland will definitely try it’s best to keep trade with the UK as open as possible, with declining consumer spending in the UK and the falling price of the pound to the euro, Irish goods …

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AIB returns to stock market

Finance minister Michael Noonan officially announced Tuesday night government plans to sell a 25% stake in AIB, returning part of the bank into private hands. This marks AIB’s dramatic return to the London Stock exchange since it was nationalized almost 7 years ago during the last financial crisis.

Currently 99.9% government owned, the sale of AIB shares will likely be the largest stock market listing of 2017. Analysts estimate that the sale of shares will raise more than €3 billion for the government, contributing to AIB’s slow and steady return of the €20.8 billion of bailout loans it received from 2009 to 2011.

AIB is Ireland’s biggest lender, and since it’s nationalization, has worked hard to renew its image, slashing the amount of bad loans from 29 billion to 8.6 billion. With that and already €6.8 billion of taxpayers’ money returned, AIB CEO Mr. Bernard Byrne hopes the upcoming sale of shares will continue the bank’s process of recovery and reaffirms investor confidence.

Although …

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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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Savings of €635 a year to be made in Mortgage Protection

We were mentioned in an article by Charlie Weston writing in the Independent about mortgage protection. The point was raised (figures supplied by the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission) that savings of up to €635 were possible.

The parts mentioning Irish Mortgage Brokers are what follows next: It’s normally done on a “joint life, first event” basis which means that if two people take out the policy and die simultaneously it only pays out once and the sum is usually engineered to cover only the balance of the loan.

It does this because it’s created as a “decreasing-term” policy, which means the amount it pays out decreases over time, the same as your mortgage does as you pay it.

It has a set term, in line with the mortgage term, according to Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers.

So if you take out a mortgage for €250,000 over 25 years then this policy should track it fairly closely, so that if the policy holder or holders die the mortgage is cleared.

Typically, it’s the cheapest type of life …

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Thankfully there isn’t any Tsunami when you consider hard facts

There has been an ongoing commentary about ‘Tsunami’s’ of repossessions that are occurring right now or just about to and we have been part of what we feel is a more realistic interpretation of the facts.

Yes, people have lost their homes and more will, that is always part of the outcome after a massive financial crisis, one of the largest ever, and in a nation that set records for the size and scope of their financial problems.

To think it could be any other way is the same as expecting a health system where nobody ever dies irrespective of the problems they may have. That kind of belief is not rooted in reality.

We think that the correct response is rapid and fair intervention where warranted, and zero protections where properties are abandoned and no payments are being made.

Within this vista there are those who would have you believe the world is being torn asunder and nobody is doing anything about it.

Here are some of the statistics from the courts covering the first quarter of 2016.

New …

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Today FM: The Last Word, Karl Deeter & Eoin O’Broin discuss housing

We were pleased to be part of a discussion about housing which featured our own analyst Karl Deeter and Sinn Feins Eoin O’Broin to talk about housing.

Deeter was at pains to point out that tenant protection was enshrined under the idea of ‘dual ownership’ back in the 1870’s and O’Broin said that there were other things to consider, it was a measured and interesting debate.

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