What is an Equity Release and how does it work?

Your equity in your home is how much you own. Think of it as the amount of your mortgage that you have already paid off, or the difference between your home’s market value and what you still owe the lender. So, once you have paid off your mortgage completely, you have 100% equity: you own it entirely. But as the value of your home appreciates, there is no immediate benefit to you in terms of cash. You will not be able to profit from the increase in value until you sell your property, and if you never sell, your estate and beneficiaries will be the only ones who are better off.

An equity release mortgage offers a way around this. These mortgages are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners aged 55 and older, as they give you a way to benefit from the equity you have built up in your home. An equity release involves a lender giving you a portion of the value of your home as a lump sum or a series of payments, in exchange for interest or …

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Living in the past, Irish property prices.

Paul O’Connor of MyHat.ie and PropertyWeek.ie has written up a great post on the Irish property market, the single biggest hindrance in the Irish property market is that of it being totally non-transparent when it comes to sales prices, most of us would settle for some opacity but alas, even that is too much to ask for.

Here is Paul’s Take on it:

An auction is a sale conducted in public. As such, prices paid at auction have always been available to the general public, and until auctions themselves became a victim of the market crash, we had become used to seeing auction results reported every week in the property pages of the newspapers.

In contrast, a private treaty sale is conducted in private. It does not specifically imply price secrecy, just that you can negotiate a deal at your own pace …

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New build a loser?

Banks are now reducing the LTV they will offer for new build properties but not in the second hand market and today we will look at why they might do this.

To begin with there is the rationalising of price in new build developments, that doesn’t mean the prices won’t drop further, it means that many builders are pricing to the market and not to what they want them to be worth. This however, is a tricky proposition for banks who may be lending on said properties.

Imagine this, ‘Phase 1 selling from €365,000’, now just over a year later ‘Phase 2 selling from €250,000’ and these are basically identical or comparable properties. Values are (in essence) set by what a person is willing to pay for an asset, and in this example the properties are all now worth €250,000 irrespective of what price they sold at. This means the banks security has just dropped by a similar amount.

The market is witnessing the most spectacular falls in the new build area, thus banks …

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