How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 10: How does Western European Mortgages Compare

Relating this series to the Western European mortgage market, as fixed-rate mortgages are most common among America while variable-rate mortgages are the most common in Western Europe. This is because Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac insure their mortgages. This means it does not affect the lenders if the interest rate rises on a fixed-rate mortgage. It is so, because the mortgage market in the United States relies more on the secondary mortgage market than on formal government guarantees. Comparing home ownership rates between the United States and Western Europe, they are fairly similar but higher default rate in the United States. Mortgage loans are mostly non-recourse debt where the borrower is not personally liable in the United States.

With Ireland’s typical interest rate being higher compared to other Western European countries, theorist claim it was from the popularity of Tracker mortgages. Tracker mortgages being locked in at 1% higher than the European Central Bank (ECB) Rate, when the ECB rate hit 0% lenders were contractually obligated to have the borrowers’ interest rate at 1%. Since the lenders need to make …

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How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 9: The Financial Crisis

What caused the Housing Bubble in the United States during the early 200s? Experts’ continuous debate on what the root of the cause is but Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have less to do with it than you think. Fannie and Freddie backed about half of all the home-loan originations in 2002 but a new market for mortgage-backed securities were arising. Loan originators backed by Wall Street were straying away from selling the loans to Fannie and Freddie but creating their own mortgage backed securities with high-risk subprime mortgages. These would include something called a hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages with balloon payments which are nearly impossible to sustain without refinancing. It left Fannie and Freddie only backing up around 30% of the loans in 2005 and 2006.

The big players of Wall Street like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns would package the subprime loans into securities. The credit-rating agency would then rate them falsely-high so they can sell to investors who were unaware of the actual health of the security. Everyone saw how the housing prices were rising and didn’t see …

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Bank of Ireland cuts mortgage rates

Bank of Ireland recently announced new and reduced mortgage rates, which will be available starting Friday the 16th. The highlight is cuts of fixed mortgages rates up to 0.35% for both existing customers and for first-time buyers. The bank decision ups its competition in Ireland’s reviving property market and marks Bank of Ireland as the fourth lender that has cut its rates within the last two months. KBC Bank cut its fixed rate in April, and currently has one of the lowest rates on the market. Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are the other two lenders who have also taken similar measures.

 

Bank of Ireland’s fixed rate mortgages are based on a property’s loan to value ratio. It has cut its rates for first time buyers with an Loan to Value ratio of 81-90% by 0.25%. Customers with greater down payments and lower Loan to Values ratios also see their mortgage rates cut between 0.1%-0.25%. The greatest reductions however have been for Bank of Ireland’s existing customers, who see their mortgage rates fall by 0.35% if they have a …

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How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 1

Looking at an American mortgage from the outside can seem identical as a mortgage you would obtain in Ireland. You sign a contract, you’re given the keys to your new home in exchange for monthly payments for a set amount of years. But behind the scenes is where things get a little more complicated. The United States has created a secondary mortgage market after the Great Depression in the 1930’s. Since then, the secondary mortgage market is a multi-billion dollar corporation that has the single biggest taxpayer corporation in the US.

In simple terms, the secondary mortgage market includes Government-Sponsored Enterprises that act as the middle man between the mortgage lenders and the investors. They will buy residential loans off of lenders then securitise and trade them to investors. When the Government-Sponsored Enterprises buy a loan off a mortgage lender it returns the loan amount so the lender can turn around and lend to a new family. This allows more capital to be freed to help more families reach their goals of becoming a homeowner and invest in their future.

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Could Monetary Policy be affecting the Mortgage Default Rate?

With reference to How does monetary policy pass-through affect mortgage default? Evidence from the Irish mortgage market by David Byrne, Robert Kelly, and Conor O’Toole. 04/RT/2017

With the loosening structure of the monetary policy by central banks after the global financial crisis, which allowed the mortgage interest rates to be lower which could have led to a lower default rate on mortgages. This post will focus on two different types of mortgages the Standard Variable Rate mortgage (most commonly known as SVR) and the Tracker mortgage.

A SVR is a mortgage where the lender has the ability to decide when and if the interest rate on the loan will change while a Tracker mortgage is where the interest rate is set to a certain percentage above the European Central Bank interest rate. As the number of Tracker mortgages were increasing while the European Central Bank interest rate was decreasing, the banks started to lose money on them as the interest rate on the mortgage payments were not high enough to cover the cost of the loan. …

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Mortgage approvals

Analysing figures released by the Banking and Payments Federation, the article sends a somewhat contradictory message. On the one hand, first time buyer mortgage approval volumes increased 19% this April compared to April of 2016. However, this volume also represents a 8.4% drop from the number of mortgages approved last month in March.

The decrease in the number of first time buyer mortgages this month is not indicative of the generally increasing annual trend, and may be due to the lack of buyer discounts offered in the month of April, when there isn’t many major holidays or events. April is generally the worst time of the year to finance a house (Business Insider).

On a larger scale, the trend in approval volumes for all mortgages follows that of first time buyer mortgages, but to a less exaggerated extent. The number in April represents an increase of 11.7% compared to April of 2016, and a decrease of 11.6% compared to March of this year.

The greater increase in first time buyer mortgages as compared to all mortgages could indicate that more …

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Q102 Drive at 5 features Irish Mortgage Brokers, Wednesday 26th April

Scott and Venetia had us on their show to discuss the property market and to go through some of the things that are affecting it.

They also found out how much he paid for his last haircut and a few other unusual things that you don’t normally hear on radio!

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Newstalk ‘Talking point’ on housing with Sarah Carey

We rarely get to take part in a show that covers so many diverse and interesting points, but last Saturday was an exception.

‘Talking Point’ was about housing and Sarah Carey chaired the conversation excellently with a panel consisting of Ronan Lyons (Daft.ie, Trinity and Sunday Independent), Lorcan Sirr (DIT and Sunday Times), and Karl Deeter (Irish Mortgage Brokers, The Sun and The Sunday Business Post).

Topics ranged from false statistics to future crashes and current dilemmas, if you are into housing even in a tangential way this is a podcast well worth listening back to.

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PTsb compel clients to go for variable rates as fixed rates start at 7.25% (no joke)

We thought a client of ours was joking when they said they were being told that as an existing customer of PTsb on their mortgage that the only fixed rates they were getting offered were more than 7%.

It’s a standard residential loan rolling off a 1 year fixed rate, the ‘existing business rates’ (to you and me that’s ‘the loyal customer rates’) are so awful that we can think of no reason for why anybody would want to borrow from PTsb unless they never want fixed rates or need the cashback offer they have.

As a broker we obviously have to consider our past, present and future relationship with any lender, one way to sour that relationship is to take clients who are on a reasonable product and price and then strip them of choice (which is what a rate of over 7% effectively does) when the initial honeymoon is over.

For that reason we would remind people to consider their lender proposition very carefully and to get independent advice because when you go direct you’ll never get to …

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Irish Mortgage Brokers on Today FM

We were asked to speak with Gavin Reilly on TodayFM’s ‘The Last Word’ where he was sitting in for Matt Cooper, to discuss a new piece of proposed legislation.

While we believe that all people are deserved of compassion and respect when it comes to financial difficulties with their family home, that it would be an error to expect the judiciary to somehow step in and make what are effectively family protection and social protection decisions on something that should be viewed via the contract.

Mortgages arrears are also more of a symptom than the inherent disease, the disease is low employment, job loss, a lack of low income housing, social housing and social supports. It would be an error to misdiagnose this and in short, only an academic or a politician could look at this problem and see the solution in the way that this proposed legislation outlines it.

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