Intriguing Statistics of First-Time Buyers

Perfect Property has recently found success in finding the common budget of the average house hunter in Dublin.

While in such a crisis, this is information that has been found is essentially vital in understanding a piece to the puzzle of what keeps buyers from buying.

Of course, there are statistics on the shortage of homes compared to the increasing demand, a factor into understanding the crisis that is just as vital.

According to Perfect Property, a relatively new search engine, the average Dublin house hunter has a budget of €315,000 to purchase a home with.

A pretty substantial budget for any home buyer, however, we are still observing a vast amount of first-time buyers applying for the new state mortgage scheme, introduced just a few months prior.

A scheme that was expected to cover nearly 1,000 loans and last for an extended period of time is now lucky if it lasts the full year.

Of course, when looking in the Dublin area it can be expected that the budget for a home will …

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Bank of Ireland cuts mortgage rates

Bank of Ireland recently announced new and reduced mortgage rates, which will be available starting Friday the 16th. The highlight is cuts of fixed mortgages rates up to 0.35% for both existing customers and for first-time buyers. The bank decision ups its competition in Ireland’s reviving property market and marks Bank of Ireland as the fourth lender that has cut its rates within the last two months. KBC Bank cut its fixed rate in April, and currently has one of the lowest rates on the market. Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are the other two lenders who have also taken similar measures.

 

Bank of Ireland’s fixed rate mortgages are based on a property’s loan to value ratio. It has cut its rates for first time buyers with an Loan to Value ratio of 81-90% by 0.25%. Customers with greater down payments and lower Loan to Values ratios also see their mortgage rates cut between 0.1%-0.25%. The greatest reductions however have been for Bank of Ireland’s existing customers, who see their mortgage rates fall by 0.35% if they have a …

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Irish Mortgage Brokers mentioned in the Independent

In an article by Sinead Ryan in the Independent we were quoted on several matters:

With all the talk of celebrating the Rising in 2016, it won’t extend to a rising mortgage market, says broker Karl Deeter. “The changes to lending criteria and in particular the Central Bank changes meant that while 90pc LTV (loan to value) mortgages were available, as the year progressed more banks started to withdraw them. Due to the way the figures are going to be reported in 2016 it will be a case of, ‘Want a 90pc mortgage? Get it in January or July’. And that’s because the half-year periods are going to be the times in which they are mostly available.”

One positive change, says Deeter, was that interest rates came down during the year, in particular fixed rates as banks came under pressure to explain Ireland’s excessive rates compared to those enjoyed by our EU neighbours. Although all banks rocked up at the Banking Inquiry, and most were (or tried their best to sound) contrite, the truth is that pillar Bank …

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The sums behind ‘taxing’ the banks into a rate cut

Yesterday we were on the Sean O’Rourke show discussing variable rates on RTE Radio. We mentioned how doubling the ‘tax’ on banks won’t actually change anything. The mechanisms were briefly covered and we got a few emails asking for clarification so here it is.

The ‘levy’ was part of the Finance Act 2014 which imposed a new annual levy on financial institutions aiming to raise €150 million per annum for 3 years.

This sum is payable on October the 20th in each year (2014-2016) and it applies to a financial institution that is the holder of an Irish (or equivalent EU) banking licence or is an Irish (or equiv EU) building society that was obliged to pay DIRT – unless the amount required to pay in 2011 was not more than 100k.

The main outcry is centred on variable rates for primary home dwellers in particular. So how much of that debt is out there?

We know there are about 300,000 ‘loans’ but the quantum of debt is €39.638m which is about €3bn …

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Today FM: The Last Word on mortgages

Matt Cooper from ‘The Last Word’ had Charlie Weston (Irish Independent) on his show along with Karl Deeter to discuss mortgages, loan rates and some of the developments that are starting to happen in the marketplace.

Some of the main points of interest were that switching is available again, rates are likely to lower and that some lenders are coming out with longer term fixed rates.

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The trend in lending and deposits

We have been banging on for quite some time about the trend in mortgage and deposit rates, namely that mortgage rates will continue to rise and that deposit rates will start to drop (already happening) and this will continue downwards – in particular you’ll have to watch for zero rated fund movements.

Zero rated funds are the money that banks keep for you (a liability for them) in the likes of demand and current accounts. You used to get zero interest but in return you got free banking. Now more lenders are demanding that you keep a certain balance in the account or you get charged a fee, such as Bank of Ireland’s recent decision to require a €3,000 balance to qualify for free banking.

This creates a near ‘negative interest rate’ for people who don’t keep that sum in their current account because fees mean the bank will cover all operational cost associated with your account for regular banking activity while making money elsewhere with those funds or …

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More fixed rate mortgages disappearing

Our prediction that fixed rates would cease to exist this year is proving quite accurate, at the time we took quite a beating for making such a ‘drastic’ call in our Mortgage Market Trend Outlook report.

So far, PTsb have removed them and now Haven (and likely EBS) are set to do the same. We received notice today (see below)

The concern from a borrowers perspective is that we are getting to a point where you can’t fix a mortgage and you will be forced to ride the rate hikes that banks come up with including any that come from the ECB.

HAVEN FIXED RATE UPDATE

Due to ongoing increases in the cost of funds we will be temporarily withdrawing both new and existing business mortgage fixed rates. Significant movements on financial markets have resulted in fixed rates which would not deliver value to customers at this time.  This position will, of course, remain under constant review.

PIPELINE IMPLICATIONS

New business loan offers will be honoured until close of business Monday …

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Mortgage Arrears for the first half of 2010

We expected a 10% increase in mortgage arrears for the first half of this year, moving the total from 32,321 households to 35,531, however it increased 10.73% and the final figure was  36,438 [statistics for the last four quarters are below].

There is an ongoing inability for banks to deal effectively with people in arrears, both in terms of having the operational capacity or liquidity to offer debt relief in some form, and on the other side we have the Financial Regulator who is incrementally stripping away their power to enforce the mortgage via repossessions.

The arrears of the second half 2010 will go up again, there is no sign of either a slowing growth in arrears, or of a slow down in the rate of growth.

The only growth area in our economy at present seems to be in the deterioration of debt quality . . . but for the second half of the year it will not only be an ‘unemployment’ lead increase, rather it will be with the additional impact of lenders creating the problem via mortgage …

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Can a bank take back my tracker mortgage?

There has been some talk of this lately, and it is an issue that we have raised concerns on in the past – to get the good news out early – there is only a very small chance that banks might ever actually do this, but just in case we already pointed this out in 2009 and early 2010.

We’ll assume though that it is going to happen (for the sake of this post), so how will they do it?

The recent points have been regarding the small print in some of the tracker contracts, one example below is taken from a KBC tracker contract, but suffice to say similar or other ‘same end result’ conditions exist in other contracts (click on the image to see a larger version).

In this example KBC have had every right to remove trackers from their clients since …

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Just who is getting the mortgages?

Caroline Madden wrote an article in today’s Irish Times ‘Just who is getting the mortgages?‘. It is a question that begs answers, at first it seemed to me like asking ‘Who is John Galt?’ (Rand readers will understand). The stories we hear constantly is that banks are hoarding credit, they will not extend credit to particular groups and when they do the underwriting is so strict that even credit-worthy applications are being turned down.

This article features our feelings on the matter, we believe that some of the banking statistics being thrown around make fore ‘good copy’ (good PR) and very little else, as we are not seeing applications turn from approvals in principle into closed loans, and in many cases, approvals are coming in far below what the applicant is actually looking for.

One element of this is natural, after a credit fuelled boom you …

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