Shadow mortgage lending in Hong Kong

Property prices have been booming in Hong Kong over the past couple of years, and have yet to reflect any slowdown. While various governmental regulations have attempted to curb growth, a closer look at Hong Kong’s mortgage market reveals that shadow lenders are rapidly gaining ground. These mortgage lenders operate outside of financial regulations and have become the option of many buyers as more limits are placed by the Central Bank on traditional forms of financing.

 

Shadow lending describes private lending performed by institutions that are not tradition banks. These institutions can be financial intermediaries or other lenders and provide similar services as banks. These institutions do not necessarily create instability in the financial system, and can be greatly beneficial by offering financing to buyers in a time where restrictions on tradition banks are tight. However, these institutions lie outside the control of official regulatory institutions, thus their lending practices may be at greater risk if a financial downturn were to happen.

 

In most countries, the major of home loans are still made out by traditional banks, and …

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Mortgage lending gets tougher in Canada

The Canadian housing market has been growing rapidly in the past few years. Currently, many experts fear that home in cities like Toronto and Montreal are greatly overvalued, a reflection on the general instability in the Canadian economy. While Bank of Canada has yet to announce its well anticipated interest rate hike that will curb the rapidly rising house prices, lenders have already begun tightening lending rules and raising mortgage rates.

 

Early this month, major lenders Bank of Montreal, CIBC and Royal Bank of Canada have all raised rates on various types of fixed rate mortgages. Both Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank of Canada raised mortgage rates by 0.2% and rates at CIBC raised by 0.05%. The higher rates of lending is thought to precede Bank of Canada’s anticipated rate hike, which may come as soon as tomorrow.

 

Accompanying the higher mortgage rates is a series of other lending restrictions put in place by Canada’s banking regulator, The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions …

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Should there be a tax on hoarding land?

There is evidence for property owners hoarding land because there is an expectation for rising house prices in the future. However, this only contributes to the housing shortage crisis. If the budget for 2018 included such a tax for property owners who choose to hoard land, it will give a financial incentive to build on the land now.

Property taxes are supposed to reflect the market value on the properties but all the valuations have been halted leaving a lot of room for political unrest.

Increasing the property tax, according to John Fitzgerald from the Irish Times, will give the government extra proceeds to fund for housing. This will give incentive to better utilize properties and give extra cash to the government to help out with the housing shortage.

It will also allow people with homes help the …

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Dublin puts blame on Airbnb… again

The new protocol is whatever the issue is blame it on Airbnb.

Airbnb is being blamed for causing the housing crisis in Dublin. Critics are saying that the up and coming ‘hip’ way to travel site is causing apartments and houses that would be long-term let into short-time let. The site apparently contributing to Ireland’s housing shortage by taking housing off the market.

Policymakers and businesses has started a trend worldwide of blaming this short-term rental site for economic and societal problems with little evidence to back it up, claims Mark Paul from the Irish Times.

Ireland is not the only blaming Airbnb, New York has hotels (Airbnb’s competition) lobbying politicians left and right. Italy accused Airbnb of turning the country into a theme park.

Such problems are linked to issues in Venice from Airbnb, supposedly. With landlords making more money in a week from travelers compared to long-term lets in a month; therefore, the landlords are increasingly turning their properties into Airbnb listings. Venice being such a small city, there is not many places to rent in the first …

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Judging from cost of living pressures on living wages is wrong

Ibec has claimed that the living wage is not an accurate way to assess cost of living pressure and is a structurally wrong concept to begin with.

The living wage puts a lot of pressure onto the business. Whether the business’s are able to pay is not accounted for in the living wage. This was following the Living Wage technical group, who sets the living wage figure, increased it by 20 cents to €11.70 in Ireland for 2017.

The reason for the increase? It was accounting for the current housing shortage and the increased rent levels.

This is different than the minimum wage set at €9.25 and set by Government’s low pay commission.

The living wage was created in 2014 updated every July. It is ideally the set average wage for full-time employees to cover the minimum cost of living.

It is set by the Living Wage technical group. They consist of researchers and academics and directed by Vincentian Partnership for Social Justice.

It is priced by many factors which include: health insurance cost, food cost, Universal Social Charge weekly …

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Bank of England raises counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%

Bank of England announced to lenders that it is raising the country’s counter-cyclical capital buffer from 0 to 0.5% to mitigate pressures from increasing consumer credit. The counter-cyclical capital buffer is a requirement on all banks, lenders and investment firms to keep a certain level of capital when credit growth is excessive. To a certain extent, this buffer is able to insulate banks from the cyclical growth and downturns of the economy. Bank of England’s decision reflects its interests in slowing down credit and lending in the British economy.

 

By raising the counter-cyclical capital buffer to 0.5%, British banks must increase their held capital by over £11.4 billion over the next 18 months. The Bank of England also has the intentions of further increasing the buffer by 0.5% to 1% by the end of 2017 to combat increases in consumer credit and lending. The counter-cyclical buffer has only been used once in the UK, but was quickly revoked due to stagnate economy conditions during the immediate aftermath of Brexit.

 

Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee warned that there …

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Switching your mortgage can benefit you in the long run

Switching your mortgage can be a hassle but is it worth it?

Yes. Switching your mortgage can save you tens of thousands, it soon may be less of a hassle as well.

The Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) is realizing the benefits of switching and are looking of ways to take the hassle off the consumer. They currently are researching on how to make the process easier. They are taking focus groups from Dublin, Cork and Galway currently.

Of the research, the main drawbacks to people who switched were the amounts of paperwork, complicated, and too much time. Of those 35 percent estimated it took between one to two months while 24 percent said it took longer than two months. The CCPC proposed to start e-conveyancing with the Legal Services Regulatory Authority. It also proposed a start of automated switching process with the CBI and …

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Proportion of buyers with mortgages surpass those who buy in cash in first time since market crash

Recent data reveals that the percentage of home buyers with mortgages have surpassed that of those who buy in cash. This is the first time this has happened since the property bubble and subsequent crash. On July 26th 2016, an Irish Independent/Real Estate Alliance survey reported that 60% of houses are bought with cash, now, roughly a year later, the same survey concluded that less than 30% of homes are purchased by cash buyers.

 

During the years after the housing crash, the high percentages of cash buyers was caused by higher interest rates, stricter restrictions on lending, higher rates of unemployment, and the large amount of speculators purchasing properties as assets after the original home owners have defaulted on their loans. This indicated a general distrust in the market and the squeezing out of mortgage buyers who have defaulted on their homes.

 

Central Bank economist Dermot Coates predicted in 2016 that the proportion of cash buyers was “neither sustainable nor likely to continue into the future”. …

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House prices are increasing now up to €1,000 a week, up from previous report

MyHome.ie just released a report than claims house prices are increasing more than the Daft.ie report. MyHome.ie report doubles Daft.ie’s findings, a rival website.

A greater focus on property prices in Dublin may be the reason for the vast difference in price increase especially because Dublin average monthly increase is more than €5,000.

The report also indicates the possible increase of prices are due to the Help-to-Buy scheme being reviewed for termination. Fear from first-time buyers are rushing them to buy houses before the cancellation of the scheme.

The Help-to-Buy scheme can provide tax rebates up to €20,000. The property prices nationally were up 8.9 year-on-year.

Conall MacCoille, author of report, said the huge inflation of house prices can be from job growth, high competition among homebuyers, and rising income. This as well as the Help-to-Buy scheme contributed to a rapid increase of house prices.

An increase of first-time buyer lending and relaxing of the mortgage lending regulations is also a factor.

MacCoille is predicting a rush of mortgage lending in 2017 if the Help-to-Buy scheme is phased out and the …

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