A response to: Housing for homes – a classic case of market failure

A recent blog post published by Tom Healy, director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute, suggested that the current housing market in Ireland is an example of a failed market. Healy believes that the issue of under supply of housing can only be solved if the government expands provisions of social housing and extends its jurisdictions over prices and supply in the housing market.

Healy based his argument upon the assumption that the current housing market has failed and is unable to recover without intervention. He cites a chronic under supply of housing and the inability of government programs to sufficiently meet demand. While there is indeed a under supply of housing and rising prices due to pent up demand, a series of government construction plans such as the 2013 Forfas Strategy, Capital Investment Plan, and Action Plan for Housing and the Homeless, in addition to private investments are expected to dramatically increase housing supply within the next few years. These projects directly address the supply issue by promising 47,000 additional units of social housing before 2021.

The blog post …

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How Do American Mortgages Work? Part 6: The Federal Agencies

Since the housing market is so massive in the United States the government had to be regulating the market in some way. With some agencies created in the midst of the Great Depression and some after the housing bubble burst. These three primary agencies are there to help the consumer and the lender whether it’s regulating the market or insuring less risk onto the lenders, they are there to provide an efficient mortgage market in America.

After the housing bubble burst, the United States government wanted to make sure nothing of this severity ever happened again. President Obama and the Congress signed in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act in July 2010 that created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The goal of the organisation is to watch out for American consumers in the market for consumer financial products and services. Since this agency was only focused on the consumer rather than on monetary policy or bank safety, it puts all the agencies focus on protecting the consumer from unfair processes and illegal activity from products and …

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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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Independent.ie mention Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were mentioned in the Independent today in a story relating to the Central Bank, it hinged upon the fact that they had a ‘whistleblower’ line for people wanting to report financial wrongdoing and it wasn’t operating correctly which means they couldn’t take a call.

The story quoted us as follows: Compliance officer with Irish Mortgage Brokers Karl Deeter said it was not good enough that the whistleblower phone line was not being answered and emails not getting a response.

“Imagine if you called 999 to report a crime and no one answered. What would you think of our police service?” he said. A Central Bank spokesman claimed the problem had been rectified after the situation was raised with it by the Irish Independent.

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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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Newstalk Breakfast interview Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were pleased to be part of an interview by Newstalk featuring Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers and Ross Maguire (SC) of New Beginnings.

The conversation was around the newly published Competition & Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) consultation on the Irish Mortgage Market.

Our general view (tl;dr) is that competition alone cannot explain the issues inherent in the Irish mortgage market, that there are many other forces at play.

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Central Bank whistle-blower line unmanned

We were asked to comment on a finding by Charlie Weston in the Independent about the fact that the private disclosure (or ‘whistle-blower’) lines in the Central Bank don’t work. After the newspaper highlighted this they took action, but we were not impressed that this was only found out through the work of a journalist.

The comment we offered was very clear (below).

Compliance officer with Irish Mortgage Brokers Karl Deeter said it was not good enough that the whistleblower phone line was not being answered and emails not getting a response. “Imagine if you called 999 to report a crime and no-one answered. What would you think of our police service?”

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Making sense of ‘help to buy’

Yesterday Revenue announced the details of the new ‘help to buy’ scheme. It is designed to make buying a home more realistic for first time buyers and to increase the supply of new homes. Whether it’s a good or bad idea is beside the point, what most people want to know is how it works so here’s the breakdown.

It’s a scheme to allow first time buyers buying a new home to get a rebate of up to 5% of the purchase price or contract price (whichever is the lower) from income tax and DIRT tax paid in the past four tax years to a maximum of €20,000. The property must cost less than €500,000 or 600k for retrospective applications, the size of the loan versus the value of the property must also be 70% or more.

So, for every €100,000 of value you must be borrowing at least €70,000 the idea being that very cash rich buyers don’t need this help. It started on the 19th of July 2016 and goes until the 31 Dec 2019.

Now that it’s …

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Understanding Personal Contract Plan or ‘PCP’

A lot of people come to us for general financial advice and something we are asked about more regularly are PCP contracts. This is where you make a down-payment on a car and then make monthly payments.

The basic workings are that you are paying for the depreciation and not ‘the car’ as some people think. You give an estimate of your annual mileage and in return you get a ‘MGFV’ or ‘minimum guaranteed future value’. If you go over the miles it negatively impacts the value.

This is then the price you have to pay to own the car. You aren’t covered by the Consumer Credit Agreement legislation because you are not ‘buying’ anything when you do this.

What is interesting is that people don’t usually think about how this works in the future, when the time comes you’ll notice that you usually can’t sell the car for the ‘value’ you are told it has and if you did buy it and go to sell it to a garage or a private seller you won’t normally get anywhere near …

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TodayFM: The last Word features Irish Mortgage Brokers

Matt Cooper had Irish Mortgage Brokers on ‘The Last Word’ to discuss some changes announced by Simon Coveney regarding rent controls in Dublin and Cork.

The piece focused on some of the issues at hand with a commentator from the Dublin Tenants Association also taking part.

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