Newstalk: Pat Kenny talks to Irish Mortgage Brokers

Pat Kenny interviewed Karl Deeter about the Central Bank lending rules and why, in his view, they could have been done slightly differently and better. It’s an interesting insight into the difference between control-lead regulation and results-oriented regulation.

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Banks may have the upper hand in the tracker debate

In the Irish Times Barry O’Halloran covered a story on trackers which looks at a case by Alan Grant of DNG against PTsb who have claimed they have the right to seek full repayments on mortgages and not just interest only.

Our readings of loan offers are that there is an agreed period which is subject to reviews. PTsb have been seeking repayments on investment loans since 2010. The idea that it shouldn’t be allowed under the Consumer Credit Act 1995 is probably going to prove contentious because when you buy an investment property you are not acting as a consumer meaning the provisions may well not apply.

You can be a consumer for a financial service even if you are a credit union or a company with a turnover below €3,000,000 but for the head of mortgages in one of the countries largest estate agents there is a dual issue at hand, firstly Mr. Grant should be expert enough in mortgages to carry out the role as a mortgage advisor (bearing in …

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Are banks lending?

A highly debated element of the recapitalisations to date and the NAMA debate have to do with credit flow, that if banks are given money that they will start to lend it out, the problem being that we currently have a rapid credit contraction.

The new Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield made his first public appearance since arriving nearly three months ago, and he said “A robust recapitalisation exercise will ensure that Ireland’s banks start this process in a stronger position and with a better funding outlook”. He is alluding to the thing that many people are forgetting, that when a bank has as high loan to deposit ratio they naturally hoard credit during times of widespread credit deterioration in order to ensure they have sufficient capital to face the impairments.

NAMA won’t ‘force lending out’, this is the aspect of fiscal policy not being able to ‘push on a string’, fiscal and monetary policy can pull a string and reign credit …

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The pincer of fixed rates while in negative equity

A recent article in the Independent stated that ‘fixed rate borrowers are taking all the pain’. The base rate has fallen from 4.25% to 1.25% with a further rate reduction expectation taking the EU to a base of 1%. What this means is that people who felt the drop off in base rates (tracker mortgage holders & most variable rate holders) are now better off to the tune of about €425 per month.

However, for those on fixed rates the story is the reverse of this, they have not felt any reduction in the amounts they are spending monthly while at the same time many have had to live on less due to wage cuts, levies, and job loss. The fees for ‘breaking’ a fixed rate are usually from 3 to 6 months of payments.

So what can you do? If you have the savings to pay for the move you can go that route, but if you have been …

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Why a rate cut is now inevitable

The ECB generally maintain that they are there to control inflation, normally we interpret this as ensuring that prices don’t get out of hand, or shoot up too quickly and indeed that is generally what rate changes are for, rates are raised to control price inflation. However, when the inverse happens (deflation or rapidly falling inflation) they will cut rates to stimulate the economy.

Today the treasury briefings put the flash estimate of inflation as being 1.6% while estimates were that it would be 1.8% which means that we are witnessing less inflation than expected and at a pace much faster than expected, if the ECB want to maintain inflation at ‘near but just below’ 2% then they have to reverse this trend and fast so there is strong likelihood that we will see a rate cut this week in order to achieve this (or at least work towards it!).

The Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) being pursued in the USA may come to our shores, the UK is already contemplating …

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