Only 2,800 first time buyers would have been affected…

Patrick Honohan told the Oireachtas committee a few days ago that “2,800 mortgages issued in 2013 would have been affected by the proposed new lending rules”.

There are a few reasons why this is bad use of data. For a start, in 2013 in gross numbers there were 14,984 mortgages drawn down. If you strip out re-mortgages, switchers, top ups and investment loans to get an idea of the actual ‘home purchase’ group it comes down to 12, 875 which means 22% of all loans.

Secondly, 2013 is a low level year in lending, the charts below show the draw-downs and the number of loans, they are at anaemic levels and don’t show any sign of a credit bubble in a country that is still rapidly deleveraging.

How can this be interpreted as a rising risk? The rising prices are a separate issue, but that some wave of credit is ready to swamp down on limited supply denies the fact that most of the market is in cash …

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Central Bank Mortgage Cap Calculator: did you get shafted?

We have designed a simple calculator that lets you put in your property price, what rents you are currently paying, how you think prices will change and how many years it would take you to save a 20% deposit if you only have 10% now.

Just download the excel file, fill in the bright yellow boxes on the first sheet, and then scroll down to the green area to find out if you win or got shafted. (download here)

You can play around with different scenarios, but suffice to say that a regular couple who have €25,000 saved up and are looking to buy a property for €250,000 today will be worse off if rents and property prices went up by 2% a year (and it took them 4 years to save the additional deposit required) to the tune of €15,500.

We don’t believe it is in the remit of the Central Bank to damage the balance sheets of financially healthy individuals, but you can test your own hypothesis and see how it …

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Mortgage to rent in as bad a shape as the mortgage market

I think Ciaran Lynch hit the nail on the head when he said the ‘mortgage to rent’ scheme risks ‘becoming a flop‘. The issue here comes down to the creditors treatment of borrowers.

We have already posted a letter from Pepper showing how they are willing to do write-downs for customers. This is there for anybody to see, it isn’t here-say or rumour. In that case the loans of GE Money (a sub-prime lender) were sold to another company at a big loss.

The buyer of the loan buys it for say, 36c on the Euro meaning a loan for €100,000 is purchased for €36,000. What happens next is that they write to the borrower and say ‘hey borrower, if you pay me €50,000 and make all of your payments then we’ll call it quits’.  Meaning the borrower gets a €50,000 debt write off for either paying their loan or selling up.

This is a strong incentive to do the right thing, and it …

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AIB tightening criteria? Are banks really lending?

In recent days the IBF came out with a very positive story about how mortgage lending has increased year on year for the first time since 2006, at the same time the Central Bank are saying that criteria is tightening and other research suggests that almost HALF of our residential market is transacted in cash!

This is a classic example of two stories that contradict each other, or at least that seem to do so. Can you have tightening criteria with more lending? Of course you can! Demand for mortgages is up year on year (in our brokerage taking gross leads as the figure) about 30% or more.

Banks are saying that they accept the vast majority of mortgage applications (c.62% is their estimate), and the likes of AIB are actually ahead of …

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Debt relief without moral hazard.

I put on my thinking caps last week and drafted a paper called ‘Designing a Debt Relief programme with minimal moral hazard to address the Irish household debt overhang‘.

We were every happy with the write up it got in the Sunday Independent via Carol Hunt.

There is far too much talk of ‘moral hazard’ in the public debate to date, instead we should be also considering ‘separating equilibrium’ (which is kind of the opposite of moral hazard – it’s the ‘pain’ that comes with moral hazard ‘gain’).

To do this you have to create a programme which works within some of the parameters of the existing laws (new legislation must still take account of what exists before it), look at the operational aspects of the scheme (how it functions in real life), design a general algorithm of the process and most importantly have an ‘incentive alignment’ which means that neither party voluntarily makes an action to the intentional detriment of …

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RTE Primetime, 5th April 2011 on Housing

Primetime RTE, 5th April 2011- on Tax Relief for Mortgages from Irish Mortgage Brokers on Vimeo.

We were delighted to take part in the studio portion of Primetime on Tuesday the 5th of April, covering housing and the problems of the indebted, the package beforehand was presented by Donogh Diamond while Richard Crowley was in charge of the studio section. The guests were Brian Hayes (FG), Michael McGrath (FF) and Karl Deeter of our own firm.

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