When the truth comes out about arrears.

I often try to focus on ‘what is’ rather than ‘what is right’ (and sometimes still get it wrong!), but the idea is to look at something from as objective a standpoint as possible. I’ll take the National Geographic for instance (stick with me on this!), if you watch it objectively and see a lion kill a gazelle you realise that it is nature, the gazelle didn’t want to be torn apart, equally the lion doesn’t want to starve to death and if you accept that lions killing gazelles is a perfectly natural thing then you are seeing what ‘is’. On the other hand if you watch the same scene but the build up to it was following the life of that particular gazelle from birth and its a Bambi story then the killing scene becomes a sickening tragedy.

That is the difference sometimes between looking at what is ‘just’ or ‘right’ and what merely ‘is’, I don’t know about you but I certainly struggle with that at times. It is …

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Drop in Fixed Mortgage Rates likely

In watching the movements of the Euribor Yield Curve we saw that margins were likely to increase on fixed rates, however, over the month of April we are seeing the yield curve drop below levels seen at the start of the month and that will likely result in a repricing of debt.

What we are seeing is the increasingly bearing outlook feeding through to interbank rates with the expectation of the May cut showing a strong likelyhood of going too 1%, that is why the 1 month money has actually dropped below that mark when earlier in the month it was slightly above it.

The yield curve is generally feeding the market information about inflation and it would appear that after the May rate decrease that the medium term outlook is depressed. The lines hold a tight margin until the two year mark at which point the earlier curve trends higher and today’s keeps that c.20bip difference. Fixed rates don’t always change with rate drops because they are priced off of …

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Good news: Rate drops and recovery indicators

Doom is the only thing selling lately, but today we will bring you some of the Sunny statistics that are being largely overlooked. This doesn’t mean we are well down the road to recovery but there is the distinct possibility that 2009 will be a turn around year for the global economy, that turn around might be a turn for the worse too though! However, the statistics we will show you now are all positive economic indicators.

1: The end of March saw the housing figures compiled for the previous month [USA]. In February the US Housing sales jumped , existing homes up 5.1% and new build was up 4.7% as buyers took foreclosure properties and others that were thought to be at ‘bargain basement’ pricing opportunities. This could be a hiccup or it could be the start of a trend, it is important to note however, that it took spectacular price drops for the renewed activity to occur. The economic stimulus package also provides tax relief to eligible first time …

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Generic overview of the market 2009: by sector

I was asked by a colleague in the UK to provide an overview of the Irish mortgage market, he has often advised the Bank of England in the past on the UK buy to let market, however this time it is in relation to a talk he was due to give to an international financial services group on the Irish economy. Below are the contents of my correspondence which is a no holds barred view of the mortgage market in 2009.

Remortgage: This area is finally starting to see some life again, the rate drops are filtering through and many of the people on fixed rates taken out in 2005/2006/2007  are shopping around, as always new business attracts better rates than existing customers so there is once again an argument for switching.

However, the many people who took out trackers are basically out of the market in the long term as every single lender has removed tracker mortgages from the market, in fact, if you know of a lender willing …

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The shape of reduced credit in Ireland

The current market is one in which mortgage lending rose at it’s lowest rate since the mid 80’s, this is coupled with a property market which is going through a painful readjustment. The figures for how many properties remain unsold are being argued in the public domain with counts from as low as 35,000 to as high as 200,000.

There is no precise and accepted accurate figure and thus the supply side remains unknown, the other issue affecting the market is the reduced availability of credit on certain types of property (apartments in particular) and a more stringent underwriting process as well as a re-assignment of staff away from commercially gaining activity into collections and arrears departments.

What can we expect to see from lenders in the near future? We will discuss some of the possible trends that may start to come into the market.

1. Lenders introducing fees: This is not a ‘fee’ in the traditional sense, such as ‘account fees’ this is a fee paid to them as an …

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