Spanish Bank Transforms Irish Mortgage Market

Spanish mortgage provider Avant Money has just introduced a new range of products that have the potential to transform the Irish mortgage market. Avant Money has become the first mortgage provider in Ireland to offer a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. In this type of mortgage, the repayments will be the same every month for the entire 30 year lifetime of the loan. Avant Money’s new fixed rate mortgages have lifetimes between 15 and 30 years, and offer rates as low as 2.25 %. These new long term offerings were introduced shortly after Finance Ireland shook up the market with its innovative 20 year mortgage. These latest moves by brokers represent a huge step for the Irish market, as product offerings here are beginning to more closely resemble that of Spain and France.

Because wholesale interest rates are currently at historic lows, homeowners in Ireland are more increasingly taking out longer term fixed rate loans. Avant Money’s new portfolio of products includes 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, and 30 year fixed rate mortgages, and the rates vary based on …

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What is the difference between Fixed and Variable Rate Mortgages?

The two most common types of mortgage are fixed-rate mortgages and variable-rate mortgages. Although there are many options among these two types in Ireland, the first step in searching for a mortgage is identifying which of the two primary loan type best meets your requirements. Most people seeking to own homes usually find themselves torn between taking fixed or variable loans. A fixed-rate mortgage has a fixed interest rate that does not alter during the loan period. Most individuals see Variable Rate Mortgages as being too much complex than the Fixed Rate Mortgages because the interest rate charged initially on Variable Rate Mortgages (VRMs) is usually set under the rates that are being charged in the market. The amount of deposit and interest paid each month for Fixed-Rate Mortgages may vary; the overall payment stays consistent, making budgeting for homeowners simple.

The primary benefit of a fixed-rate loan is that it protects the borrower against a significant and unexpected rise in mortgage repayments if interest rates climb. Fixed-rate mortgages are simple to comprehend and differ little from one lender …

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Why are Mortgage Interest Rates so High in Ireland?

Recent reports from the Central Bank of Ireland indicate that mortgage holders in Ireland are still paying much higher interest rates as compared to most of their  neighbors in Europe. Therefore, why are people in Ireland paying high mortgage rates and is there a way to reduce it? Currently the  interest rate for a first-time buyer is at 2.79 percent, which means that it is now the highest in all of the 19 countries in Europe together with Greece. Despite the fact that the interest rates have dropped by 0.11 percent as compared to last year, they are still way more than what is being charged in other places in Europe where the average rate is as little as 1.31 percent. 

In a report by the Banking and Payment Federation of Ireland (BPFI), the mortgage for a first-time-buyer in Ireland is approximately €225,000. Basically, this means that someone who borrows this amount with the hopes of repaying it in 30 years ends up paying an extra of €167 per month and over €2,000 annually as compared to other countries …

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Want to switch mortgages in Ireland?

By switching your mortgage, you can save a lot of money. Mortgage is most likely to be the biggest household expense for many years, so this bill is one that most people do not want to overpay on. Therefore, just like any other bill, you should always opt to switch your mortgage every few years so that you can be sure that you are not overpaying.

Without a doubt, you could save a lot by switching mortgages. If you have a mortgage with a balance of €250,000 and are currently paying 4.5 percent standard variable rate, and have a minimum of 20 percent equity in your home, you could save approximately €300 each month by switching to the most affordable on the market. This translates to a lot of savings. Despite the fact that there are certain upfront costs linked to switching providers, banks can offer cashback to the individuals who switch. 

Every financial institution has its unique set of criteria for allowing its customers to switch their mortgage. In the event that your financial situation has changed negatively since …

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Costs you Should be Aware of before Buying a House

There are more costs associated with buying your first home than just the 10% deposit. There are many additional fees, duties and taxes that you should be aware of before buying your home. 

 

The first fee you should be aware of is the stamp duty. The stamp duty is not included in your mortgage, so it’s a good idea to save this fee up in addition to your 10% deposit. The stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price on a home or residential property of up to €1m, and 2% of the selling price on homes and residential properties above €1m. This stamp duty may change however, and full details are available on the Revenue.ie website. 

Legal fees are another hidden cost of buying a home that you should look out for. There are a lot of legal aspects that have to be accounted for when officially transferring ownership of the property to you, so you should find a trusted real estate lawyer to take care of this transfer. Legal fees will vary depending on …

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Mortgage Broker vs. Bank: What’s the Difference?

Buying a house is one of the most important decisions of your life, which is why you need to make sure you pick the right lender when applying for a mortgage. However, there are many different types of lenders, each offering different products and rates for your mortgage, so it can get overwhelming. 

 

The first type of mortgage lender is a Direct Lender. A direct lender is a financial institution that originates, processes, and funds the loan all by itself. In other words, the company you work with is the one loaning you the money. Direct Lenders include big banks like Bank of Ireland, credit unions, and specialized financial companies that deal primarily with home loans and mortgages. An example of a specialized mortgage company like this is Quicken. 

 

The second type of mortgage lender is a Mortgage Broker. A broker is the “middleman” that helps you find the best possible rate for your home loan. Brokers work with multiple mortgage companies and compare rates to find the best lender for your specific situation. 

 

Now that …

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Is it Getting easier to be approved for a mortgage in Ireland?

The COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have had many effects on business throughout the world and in Ireland. Every industry has been affected by this pandemic, and many in negative ways. However, this is not exactly the case with the mortgage industry in Ireland.

 

The mortgage industry in Ireland has remained remarkably buoyant over the past year. This is especially significant due to the fact that the country has been under level 5 lockdowns since March of 2020. While one would expect mortgage drawdowns and approvals to decrease like most economic activity, what happened instead was surprising. For the first quarter of 2021, BPFI reports that there were 9,091 new mortgages worth €2.1 billion drawn down by borrowers. These numbers represent a 4.5% increase in volume and a 7.3% increase in value when compared to the corresponding quarter of 2020. This was also the most drawdowns approved in Q1 of any year since 2009. 

bpf

March 2021 was also a strong month for mortgage approvals, especially when considering First Time Buyers (FTBs). In March of 2021, a …

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Mortgage switching: how, when, why

What does it mean to switch mortgages? Why would someone want to switch? What can be gained from switching? Finally, if one wants to switch, how should they go about doing it?

The first question is easy to answer, though oftentimes “switching” can get conflated with “remortgaging.” Don’t be fooled; these refer to two different things that, while similar in concept, can have different implications for the borrower.

“Remortgaging” simply refers to getting a new mortgage to replace a previous one; this can be done with one’s existing lender or a new one.

“Switching” is the process of taking one’s existing mortgage and moving it to a new lender.

Now, for the next question: why would a borrower want to switch mortgages? There are a number of reasons for doing so. Firstly, a borrower might be dissatisfied with their current lender for one reason or another, like poor service or lack of responsiveness to inquiries. If borrowers think another lender will provide better service, tat would be a good reason for switching mortgages to said lender.

Another reason for switching …

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Could harsher punishments for mortgages in arrears lead to lower rates?

Mortgages are notoriously expensive in Ireland, with rates twice those of the Eurozone average. How best to address this problem has been a hot-button issue in Ireland for some time. Now, some are putting forward a new solution: harsher punishments for borrowers with mortgages in arrears. One of Irish banks’ stated reasons for rates being so high is that failing to meet mortgage payments doesn’t have high enough consequences for borrowers. For example, home repossessions in Ireland aren’t very common, since the process is so complex and can take several years. As a result, loans are riskier investments for lenders in Ireland relative to other Eurozone countries. If this is indeed the reason for rates being high, it follows that tougher treatment of such borrowers would lead to lower rates for everyone else.

Regarding the number of borrowers this would affect, statistics from the Central Bank of Ireland show that 5.3% of all principle dwelling house (PDH) mortgage accounts were in arrears as of December 2020. This percentage includes a total of 38,785 accounts. However, it’s also worth noting …

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Covid-19’s impact on mortgages

The covid-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on all areas of the financial world, including banks, loans, and mortgages. Mortgage arrears, or payments failed to be made by their original specified due date, had been consistently falling every year since 2013. However, Fitch predicts that arrears of at least 90 days will constitute about 14-16% of Irish home loans this year, their highest rate since the financial crisis.

Additionally, the pandemic has led to widespread payment breaks for mortgages in Ireland. Payment breaks involve the deferring of repayment of a loan to a later date; they do not change, however, reduce the total amount to be paid. In March of last year, the major banks in Ireland agreed to industry-wide payment breaks for those facing financial hardship as a result of the pandemic. This was done out of consideration for borrowers’ situations and lenders’ own desire to avoid high default rates. Ultimately, by May 2020, one in nine owner-occupier mortgage payments was on such a break.

Though this measure was taken of the industry’s own volition, soon after, the …

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