Is a ten year fixed rate a good idea?

Recently KBC introduced a 10 year fixed rate, they are not the first back to have done this, in the past other banks had them but their prices were high, the difference today is that you can get a 10 year fixed rate mortgage for below 3% and that means it’s worth considering.

First of all, why would you want to fix for so long? Obviously the longevity of a guaranteed price in a world where rates are expected to rise over time makes it attractive. This has to be balanced against the likelihood of competitive forces driving down Irish mortgage rates. Currently there is upside down pricing where fixed rates are cheaper than variable rates, how long this will last is anybody’s guess.

What we can do is look at the yield curve in order to get an idea of when rates might go up. Looking at that curve today (the quote date is from the 22nd which is last Friday) we see that yields are still negative a full six years into the future.  What …

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Q102 Drive at 5 features Irish Mortgage Brokers, Wednesday 26th April

Scott and Venetia had us on their show to discuss the property market and to go through some of the things that are affecting it.

They also found out how much he paid for his last haircut and a few other unusual things that you don’t normally hear on radio!

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How to knock €138,000 off your mortgage?!

This was an interesting piece by Louise McBride in the Sunday Independent. The assumptions were based on a fairly hefty mortgage figure, but the general idea remains strong, that if you get a lower mortgage rate you can save money.

Our contribution was to say that in an ere of low interest rates and with rates falling that “The banks all know that interest rates are coming down – and that one way to kill the switcher market is to get more people onto fixed rate mortgages,” said Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers. “Banks are playing a defensive game. They’re not competing on variable rates – they’re competing on fixed rates instead.”

To us this is simplistic but also true, if banks fear attrition of their performing loan book the best thing you can do is take high variable margin from those willing to pay it, or who aren’t bothered by it (as is common with older loans) or to defend your position by locking in potential switchers seeking value by offering them value in return for commitment …

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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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Mortgage rates falling and set to head even lower

We were never advocates or in agreement with the ‘make government force mortgage rates down’ campaign (albeit on very friendly terms with the campaign promoters). The reason was that rates needed to come down in a natural way or banks would curtail credit or charge more elsewhere, this was a balancing act between sorting out operational costs and back book issues.

The belief we had, and one that does seem to be bearing fruit, was a slower (ie: less popular) road to lower rates, brought about by competition.

This has been happening, it doesn’t make headlines because it’s a slower burn but the trend is under way and it goes like this: more competition equals lower rates, the higher rates spur competition as it attracts new entrants and in time, when matched with a low yield curve, rates will fall.

The introduction of Pepper into the market, along with general competition has meant that the rate reduction cycle has begun. The hallmarks are that firstly, rates are high after a financial crash, that always happens, those high rates bring in …

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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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What is happening with fixed rates?

We have been asked a few times about fixed mortgage rates and why they are lower than standard variable rates at the moment.

This has been going on for a few months in the mortgage market and the reason is fairly simple, lending rates are going to drop over time.

The one year fixed rate has traditionally been one that is used to attract business to a bank or building society. They are often a loss leading rate and after availing of it the person goes onto a higher rate or another fixed rate so we have to strip them out.

But from the 2yr rate onwards you normally paid a premium over and above the standard variable rate. So what is happening?

Lower fixed rates mean that banks are going to capture a margin that is likely to decline in the near future. The Euro yield curve is below.

What you see is that it is negative (below zero) for many years into the future, in fact, it’s only hitting …

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RTE: Property bubbles discussed by Brian Lucey and Karl Deeter

Keelin Shanley was sitting in for Sean O’Rourke on the Today Show on RTE Radio 1. She had Brian Lucey and Karl Deeter on the show to discuss the issues with the property market in Ireland and in Dublin in particular where prices rose 22% in the last year.

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