Irish Times article by John McCartney, Lorcan Sirr & Karl Deeter

The Irish Times carried an article by John McCartney (Savills), Lorcan Sirr (DIT Bolton St) and Karl Deeter (Irish Mortgage Brokers) about the issues surrounding a shift away from a home ownership model.

Our point isn’t that there is a definitive ‘right or wrong’ way to provide housing, obviously our market has massive issues at present, but the larger question is the long run effects and how a lack of household savings can turn a property crisis into a pension crisis of sorts.

That is why we need to find new solutions for more than just housing.

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Irish Times mentions Irish Mortgage Brokers on ECB rate move

The Irish Times mentioned Irish Mortgage Brokers in their story by Arthur Beesley and Eoin Burke-Kennedy on the rate cut by the ECB from 0.05% to 0%. The implications for borrowers are minimal, it’s more about ‘signalling’ to the market, the good news for debtors is that rates look set to stay low, which is awful news for savers.

“Mortgage broker Karl Deeter said monthly repayments on a 25-year €200,000 loan would drop by €5. The refusal of Irish banks to pass a succession of ECB rate cuts to variable rate mortgages has long been contentious.”

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Fixed rate comparison Ireland

When it comes to fixed mortgage rates in Ireland there is a little confusion, the first being about ‘whether to fix or not’ and secondly, if by doing so will you lose out should Irish lenders choose to lower their mortgage rates.

The simple answer is that if you fix your mortgage you may win or lose depending on what rates do, but that is missing the point of why you fix to begin with. It provides you with certainty of payments and often there is a premium due because of this, in simple terms, you pay a bit more for the ‘fixed’ assurance.

Below is a list of some of the best fixed rates in Ireland as well as who offers them.

Best 3yr fixed rate: 3.6% offered by PTsb and Bank of Ireland

(note: you can get better again by going with KBC and opening an account which gets you 3.55%)

Best 5yr fixed rate: 3.8% offered by Ulsterbank, BOI and Haven/AIB

These are ‘tiered variable rates’ meanining you have to have a low loan to value or …

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Drivetime RTE: Mary Wilson speaks to us about mortgage rates, 22nd May 2015

We spoke with Mary Wilson of Drivetime on RTE about mortgage rates and what the implications were of the changes Michael Noonan (Irish Minister of Finance) announced that day. We also read through the Central Bank report on the subject and considered the findings of their analysis in terms of the impact it might have on borrowers.

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Newstalk: Pat Kenny Show on variable rates

We were asked to speak with Pat Kenny today about variable rates and the government plan to intervene to make banks drop them. This was, after considering various pieces of evidence shown to be a deeply political rather than pragmatic move. We also demonstrated that there are documents which the Minister for Finance had drafted up with the banks specifically stating that he would not intervene on matters of pricing, the recent round of ‘meetings’ is in direct contravention of that.

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Drop rates so banks can lend more…

In the ongoing variable rates pricing fracas there are many points being overlooked. The first is why our mortgage rates are higher than other European countries, but we should just ignore that – at least to stay popular.

We’ll say that the government/Central Bank pressure works and banks drop their rates, what next?

We might get around to the greater number of people under price pressure for housing (the renters), but that’s unlikely, instead we’ll inadvertently drive up house prices a little more by making credit more easily available.

Because the lower the variable rate the lower the stress test. Lower rates equals more credit, it’s a fact of life in lending.

You heard it here first. The lower variable rates go the more it frees up a persons lending capability. We have covered the way the Central Bank lending rules won’t work to the point of being annoying (and we weren’t alone, the ESRI and …

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SVR’s: Comparing apples to oranges is bananas

The ongoing meme of standard variable rates being a ‘rip off’ has recently lead to a new bill being proposed by Senator Feargal Quinn. This is the most recent brainwave since the ‘tax banks to make them cut rates‘ idea.

Once again we see the politicisation of credit pricing which is avoiding many of the contingent facts on the topic which analytically is an error.

My old statistics lecturer used to say ‘comparing apples to oranges is banana’s’ and she was right, to compare two things they need more ‘likeness’ than the fact that both things happen to exist.

Here is a small list of things that occur in other jurisdictions that aren’t being mentioned.

1. Arrangement fees: Many jurisdictions (even around Europe) have arrangement fees factored into the loan, often this is 1% that the borrower pays the financial institution for setting the loan up. This reduces the need to amortize the cost of procurement …

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The sums behind ‘taxing’ the banks into a rate cut

Yesterday we were on the Sean O’Rourke show discussing variable rates on RTE Radio. We mentioned how doubling the ‘tax’ on banks won’t actually change anything. The mechanisms were briefly covered and we got a few emails asking for clarification so here it is.

The ‘levy’ was part of the Finance Act 2014 which imposed a new annual levy on financial institutions aiming to raise €150 million per annum for 3 years.

This sum is payable on October the 20th in each year (2014-2016) and it applies to a financial institution that is the holder of an Irish (or equivalent EU) banking licence or is an Irish (or equiv EU) building society that was obliged to pay DIRT – unless the amount required to pay in 2011 was not more than 100k.

The main outcry is centred on variable rates for primary home dwellers in particular. So how much of that debt is out there?

We know there are about 300,000 ‘loans’ but the quantum of debt is €39.638m which is about €3bn …

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