Pros and cons of a variable rate mortgage

A variable rate mortgage is a mortgage in which the interest rate on the outstanding balance changes periodically. Typically, these loans will have fixed, or “teaser” interest rates for a specified amount of time, after which the interest rate will change based on a variety of factors. In most cases, the initial interest rate on a variable rate loan will be lower than a fixed rate, which can be appealing for homebuyers. But it is important to be aware of the pros and cons before jumping into a variable rate loan.

Pros

Flexibility

The number one advantage of a variable rate mortgage is flexibility. With a variable rate mortgage, you don’t need to worry about penalties for things like increasing your monthly payment, or paying off your mortgage early. You also have the ability to make lump-sum payments on your mortgage throughout the year, which can be very helpful for home buyers with a fluctuating income affected by bonuses or commissions. If your life is likely to change relatively soon, and you plan on eventually moving or selling the house, …

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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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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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