Two identical first time buyers walk into a bar, one qualifies, the other doesn’t

The Central Bank rules on curtailing mortgage lending have had an interesting effect, first is that we are seeing more loans draw down that might not have because people are bringing forward consumption due to the fact they won’t qualify for the same amount again in the future. This is literally the opposite of the intended effect.

Second is that it’s causing chaos for prospective buyers who may hold an exemption or need an exemption because there are quarterly reporting rules that mean banks can’t offer a new loan until they know if an old one will be drawn or become an NTU (not taken up).

Perhaps the easiest thing to do is explain it, currently you can’t get an exemption from Ulsterbank or AIB/EBS/Haven or BOI, but you can from PTsb and KBC. The banks that can’t give you one (and remember it’s only one of LTV or LTI not both) are hogtied because they have given the limit of exemptions (c. 15%-20% of lending) already in loan offers and they have to estimate both the annual and quarterly …

Read More

Mortgage rates set to drop and competition to increase in 2015

We have commented several times since last year that the trend for mortgage rates in 2015 will be to see them drop. With spreads of c. 300bp’s on lending it makes it one of the reliably profitable sectors of banking given the stringent underwriting being applied.

With the Central Bank looking to curtail first time buyers but doing nothing about incumbent borrowers getting restricted it means that they have directed the market towards refinancing.

This is because one of the niches left on the table is that of existing variable rate holders, which banks will now try to tempt away from one another in an effort to grow market share.

There are many who cannot take part and below is a list of the mortgage holders who won’t benefit.

Those in negative equity, they are going to be stuck when it comes to refinance, they can trade up with a negative equity mortgage but they won’t be able to ‘switch’. Those on fixed rates which accounts for in the region of 50,000 mortgage accounts, they face break penalties, and only …

Read More

KBC launch a ‘quick approval’ process

For a while we have seen competition starting to heat up a little in the mortgage market. Several moves recently have started to demonstrate this further, Bank of Ireland have their ‘pay you to borrow from us’ campaign, KBC had a ‘pay you to switch’ along with rates that beat everybody else.

Now they (KBC) have launched a quick approval process which aims to cut down the time it takes to get approved which at it’s worst was taking up to four weeks with some banks. This is only for an approval in principle, which isn’t worth much (not like a loan offer is) but it is the first step in the mortgage process in terms of getting meaningful feedback from a lender.

They have a first time buyer 1yr fixed rate of 3.5%, short term fixed rates are where banks tend to go to attract business as the first year costs are what many buyers are fixated on rightly or wrongly.

There is one bank rumoured to be considering a return to brokerage, another who shut operations considering re-opening …

Read More

Repossessions you don’t even know about (when it’s you that it happens to)

We have a client who just found out one of their properties is getting repossessed. The only odd thing about it is that the bank never bothered to tell them about it. Instead it was found out when a neighbour told one of their relatives who then mentioned it to them etc. etc.

Anyway, the property in question has been lying idle and we are trying to determine if the papers were served at all and if so to what address because at present there is an estate agent sign in the garden and according to them this was all done correctly and paperwork is in order.

Seems awful strange, and the client said that Ulsterbank (the lender in question) haven’t called them in several months. It seems they are sick of talk perhaps, but even so, if they are going to repossess a property you’d think you’d get at least a farewell card or something?

Read More

Some Irish mortgage statistics worth considering

We all know the headline [glossary id=’6898′ slug=’mortgage’ /] arrears figures and that they are a disaster. Take a look at some of the other figures which don’t make it into general reporting (other than when they come out during Oireachtas committees and the like). Something that still isn’t widely known is that huge numbers of arrears cases are not engaged and haven’t filled in the most basic Standard Financial Statement required to get an arrears resolution.

AIB

6,000 mortgages 2.5 to 3 years behind and not engaging 16,000 Standard Financial Statements (SFS) analysed to collate ‘strategic figures’ 50 per cent of arrears cases haven’t yet filled in an SFS, the founding document of resolutions 2,000 re-engagements after legal threats 2,000 arrears cases have money on deposit greater than arrears 1,000 buy-to-let mortgages with nothing paid in last six months or more 4,000 accounts where customer could pay full mortgage from net disposable income allowing for living expenses (insolvency guidelines plus 20 per cent on top) but do not

Ulster Bank

35 per cent of arrears cases either not engaging …

Read More

Dear Banks, leave me alone… How to speak to them

In the process of negotiating with banks many of our customers feel various things, like intimidation, fear, confusion and anger. In trying to get a lender to give a simple and straight forward response we find that it helps to use a certain language or nomenclature in letters and replies.

The simple truth is that they tend to exert authority if you give them this authority, but if you give them the authority with the express requirement that it forces them to make a painful decision should they act upon it. The letter below is a sample that we have used with a few people who have investment properties and it seems to get a decent result.

Don’t use it until such time as you have filled in your Standard Financial Statement (SFS), the end result you are looking for with a letter like this is to get the lender to accept your rent as full settlement of your account until …

Read More

RTE News: 1st March 2012, Allsop Space auction

At the auction last week we were asked if we thought that they were fundamentally a good or bad thing; the inclination (given the protests) may be that it’s selling houses out from under people.

Given that these are properties where the owners (virtually all of them were investment properties) cannot pay for them in the foreseeable future it can’t be forgotten that a speedy sale that reduces the build up of arrears and which sells a property where there are live buyers bidding against each other is probably the fairest way to do it.

Nobody likes the idea of anybody ‘losing’ their property (I can’t say ‘home’ because these were not family homes), but if they must then a fair and transparent solution is the best you can hope for.

Read More

Who is telling porkies? Lending figures v.s. Advertisements

In the first quarter of 2010 there were c. 62 business days, and from this time frame we have gotten the most recent lending figures from the Irish Bankers Federation on mortgages in Ireland. Those figures stated that there were 6,954 mortgages drawn down in the first quarter of 2010 equating to €1.22bn in lending.

Those are the hard facts.

Then come the contradictions. AIB claim to have about 40% of the mortgage market – that headline is from last November but we can assume it should still remain at above 30%, an institutional contraction of 25% would be known because it would definitely make headlines (the 40% of the market AIB has is 100% to them so if it fell to 30% that would be a 25% reduction on their single institution figures). Back on topic – if we accept that AIB is holding at least 30% of the market then that means …

Read More

If we must have a banking enquiry then make it cheap and fast.

I should state from the outset that I am against a banking enquiry if it is the ‘9/11 style public enquiry‘ it was originally billed by Patrick Honohan as (pic related). I also believe the primary failure in Ireland was one firstly of regulation and governance over and above what went on within the banking system, it is after all, the responsibility of regulators to exert their control over the systemic aspects of banking rather than vice versa, however, it seems to be the popular choice to have an enquiry and thus I have outlined how a relatively cheap investigation might be set up.

The people of Ireland are calling for blood and it is no surprise that various powers now want to deliver on it, they join other leaders from antiquity such as Titus, Nero and Caesar in wanting to please the masses with blood-letting, sadly, we have a history of making any investigation extremely …

Read More

How much of a deposit do I need?

When making a mortgage application this is a question that many first time buyers want to know, how much money do I must I have for a deposit? Well, that kind of depends on which bank provides the mortgage finance!

Lending criteria is different for every bank/building society/lender, this goes for rates, the general underwriting criteria as well as the ‘loan to value‘, the deposit you need is 100% minus the Maximum LTV and that will give you the deposit amount you require. For instance, ICS have a maximum LTV of 92% so the deposit you need – if you are obtaining finance through them – is 100% – 92% = 8%.

What is interesting in that example is that when you go ‘sale agreed’ on a property the estate agent will ask for a security deposit and the balance of 10% at the signing of contracts, this is an example …

Read More