Housing Update and the Coronavirus

At the beginning of the year, Glenveagh Property, an Irish home building company, had shares increase by over 2%. The shares rose due to an increase in house sales and company revenue in 2019. The company achieved these increases because they had significant sales of homes for first-time buyers, where there still remains a high demand. Glenveagh Property reports the company generated revenues of €284 million, which presents an 240% increase from 2019 to 2020. In addition, the company had a 200% increase in homes built from 2019 to 2020, stating the company built 844 new homes. Finally, the company reports that they have reduced its risk in its 2020 construction targets. 

While Glenveagh Property’s positive report for the year of 2019 and hopeful outlook for 2020 are optimistic signs, the housing market may continue to grow with an improvement of the Coronavirus. On Tuesday, 11 February 2020, Zhong Nanshan, the head of China’s National Health Commission team investigating the Coronavirus, stated in an interview that the infectious virus may be over in April of 2020. Nanshan said the disease …

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Demand Outweighs Supply: Significant Interest in 500 New Affordable Houses

The Irish Times reports that the County Council of south Dublin has a plan to build 500 new affordable homes. This is the first time a plan has been put in place to build affordable housing in south Dublin for well over a decade. The houses are planned to cost roughly €300,000. Therefore, for first time buyers, in order to purchase, the home buyers would have to place a down payment of €30,000. However, the home buyers could also benefit from the Help to Buy Scheme. Since the home buyers are purchasing affordable housing that is less than 500,000 euro, the first time buyers could receive a tax rebate of 5% of the 300k if the home buyers take out a mortgage of at least 70% of the home’s price. This €15,000 rebate could be very beneficial to most first time home buyers. In addition, the Irish Times predicted that the affordable homes will be 40% less than market price, a significant savings.  

As reported by the Irish times, the homes will be available in three locations. The first time …

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Help To Buy For First Time Buyers

The name provides a definition for itself. First time home buyers are people in the market buying a home for the first time. Compared to other home buyers, such as trader-up borrowers and mortgage switchers, first time buyers have different benefits and restrictions when borrowing than other borrowers. The Central Bank of Ireland requires a 10% down payment for first time buyers. Now, for first time buyers, a 45,000 euro down payment for a 450,000 euro home may be somewhat daunting. However, the Central Bank has offered assistance for their first time buyers to keep them in the market. The Central Bank offers a help to buy program. This benefit allows for first time buyers of new houses and apartments to take a 5% tax rebate off of properties less than 500,000 euros. In a recent case at Irish Mortgage Brokers, a married couple came looking for a mortgage on their first home. The couple did not have a home in mind at the time, but based on their income, the couple had roughly below 500k to spend. Both individuals …

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The Qualified Mortgage Patch

In less than a year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is letting the “Qualified Mortgage Patch” (QM Patch) expire. Why does this matter for first time buyers?

The QM Patch states that mortgage buyers must have a debt-to income ratio less than or equal to 43% in order to buy a home. This rule was created to protect borrowers from racking up too much debt. Removing the QM patch could have drastic effects for the European economy. Let me explain:

I grew up living in the United States during the Mortgage Crisis of 2007. It started with many investors looking for low risk high reward profits. They turned to the housing market to buy those loans. Banks would convert thousands of marketable securities and turn them into shares for investors to buy. They believed the investments were safe because house prices were rising dramatically during this time and credit unions gave many of these securities AAA ratings. AAA rating is the best rating a house can receive.

Investors loved these loans because they were very profitable. They started pushing the …

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Safety Nets for Consumers in Mortgage Arrears

According to The Central Bank of Ireland, at the end of June 2019, there were 723,280 private residential (PDH) mortgage accounts for principal dwellings held. Of this, 61,901 accounts still had outstanding payments, also referred to as being in arrears. as of June, there were a total of 61,901 total accounts in arrears. Within that, over 18,000 were within 90 days overdue, almost 5,000 were up to 180 days overdue and a staggering 27,792 accounts were over 720 days overdue. However, at the end of the quarter only 1,407 homes were repossessed. So what protections do homeowners have when they are in arrears? In Ireland there are many codes and acts that are specifically designed to protect the family home from repossession.

The main code that deals with family homes, is the Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears (CCMA) which was put into place in 2013. The code is issued by the Central bank and relates to customers in arrears and pre-arrears situation. It does not however deal with investment properties. This code requires mortgage lenders to apply the Mortgage …

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Property Market in Wuppertal, Germany

About the City:

Wuppertal is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia in the west part of Germany. There’s a population of about 350.000, and the name Wuppertal comes from the river ”Wupper” which flows through the city. Some key characteristics of the town include the suspension railway, ‘’Schwebebahn’’, the university and the Pina Bausch dance theater. The Schwebebahn is one of the defining features in Wuppertal, due to the fact that the train is actually upside-down.

Areas in Wuppertal, Germany

As in all other countries, the market in Wuppertal is divided into rental properties and properties to buy. Wuppertal is also divided into 6 different sectors, which have a strong influence on rental and purchase prices. Barmen, Elberfeld, Vohwinkel, Cronenberg, Ronsdorf and Beyenburg all have different prices for various types of properties. 

Prices for renting and buying

The cheapest area to buy and rent in Wuppertal is Elberfeld and the highest prices are found in Cronenberg. The prices generally start at 6.01 EUR/m² and goes up to 8.36 EUR/m².

For buying a house in Wuppertal, expect to pay 2.442,05 EUR/m² at …

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German Property Market – Rules, Regulations and Taxation

Legal Restrictions

There are no specific legal restrictions on cross-border real estate investments in Germany for foreigners. Normally a valid passport and an adequate capital will be sufficient to purchase property. It should be noted that private investors will not be given residential status merely by acquiring property in Germany, as is the case in some other European countries.

With regard to indirect real estate investments, however, some general rules apply. They are laid down in different laws and are binding for both foreign and domestic investors.

Ownership in Germany

The owner of a property is generally in possession of both the plot of land and any buildings upon it. The rights to ownership and inheritance are guaranteed by law.

If an investor acquires a single flat in a multi-family house, it is a matter of property ownership. However, this property ownership does not entail ownership of the land and building associated with the property. Instead the investors obtain a co-ownership share of the jointly owned property which the flat is a part of. 

According to private law, the owner …

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Dortmund Property Market – areas, prices and average costs

Areas and Districts

The city of Dortmund is divided into twelve distinct districts. All city districts are then subdivided into a total of 62 statistical districts. Some of main, more well known districts include Downtown-West, Downtown-North, Downtown-East, Eving, Scharnhorst, Brackel, Aplerbeck, Hörde, Hombruch, Lütgendortmund, Huckarde and Mengede. 

Price fundamentals

Housing prices in Dortmund depend greatly on a number of factors, not unlike any other city. As any good realtor will tell you, pricing is mainly contingent on location. After that buys and sellers look for things such as year of construction, the condition of the property, living space, date of last modernization, final energy requirement (e.g. quality of insulation), surroundings, neighbourhood, car parking spaces or garages and much more. For this reason the following information may differ.

Development of prices / rents

The Empirica Price Database and others form the basis for the following comments on the property price development in Dortmund:

Depending on location, interior or other criteria from above, the current rent for an apartment in Dortmund are somewhere in between 7 € and 12 € per square …

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Ireland: Dealing With Crisis

In previous articles, I’ve discussed the ever increasing population of unemployed and homeless people in Ireland, as well as the rising housing prices. At times the two may go hand-in-hand. Higher cost of living could lead to homelessness, and so on. Within the last 12 years, the homeless population has tripled and the cost of living in Ireland has risen to 102% higher than the EU average. These two issues have rooted themselves all throughout Ireland, with no signs of being deweeded. While looking at the issues from an outside perspective may leave you believing nothing is happening to solve these circumstances, the government does have some plans in place to combat said issues. 

The Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) is one of the largest contributors to the development of various social housing services. One of their main goals is to “deliver housing and combat homelessness”. The ICSH has already proposed their plan and budget for next year. With funding from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the ICSH has “an overall package of €2.6 billion to …

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Helping the Homeless: Ireland vs. U.S.

There’s no question that within the last five or so years, the homeless population in Ireland has significantly increased. People in less than ideal conditions can be seen while walking down the streets of Dublin. Although unemployment in Ireland is nothing new, as with any country, there has been a noticeable increase in that population. “Focus Ireland” found that since 2007, the total homeless population has more than tripled. It seems that in the United states however, the opposite is occurring. Since the same year (2007), the homeless population in the U.S. has decreased by roughly 15% (which is almost 100,000 individuals). Whether a countries homeless population is on the rise or decline, there will always be some amount of homeless. So, the question remains: What does each country do to support this continuous population?

In Ireland, there are things such as soup runs and emergency sleeping accommodations for rough sleepers (people physically sleeping on the streets). For the most part, there are places to get some food and possibly a place to stay. These however are very short-term solutions. …

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