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 of industry lingo being so embedded that it becomes separate to reality. The fact is that if you obtain 92% finance that you don’t need to give a security deposit plus the balance of 10% at the signing of contracts, it would be the balance of 8% – your solicitor will talk to the other side and organise this.

The mortgage criteria on deposits required by each bank is listed below. We have put them in the order of the banks that are actually lending.

Banks Lending Normally:
AIB, ICS, BOI all require at least an 8% deposit.

Banks Drip Feeding Lending:
EBS 8%
Haven & KBC 20%

Banks That are essentially Not Lending:
INBS 10%
NIB 20%
BOS 20%
PTsb 10%
First Active (Not doing any new mortgages)
Ulsterbank 10%

The banks that are currently lending in a regular fashion all provide 92% finance, it will be no surprise that they are headed for the maximum market share on lending in 2009, obviously the €1,000,000,000 that we gave each of them earmarked for first time buyers helps a lot too! In any case, there are plenty of banks and lenders to choose from, the issue is currently more about ‘who’ is lending as opposed to what prices or options are available, if you can’t get approved with one of the current primary lenders then you may have to wait up to 3 weeks for an initial response or find yourself with the option of a variable rate which is 400 basis points above ECB.

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