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 …

Read More

Loan refusal statistics: what do they mean?

There are two sets of statistics floating around; on one hand you have the banks who claim that they are lending and also that the demand for credit simply isn’t there – a belief further expounded by John Trethowan. Then on the other hand you have the likes of PIBA who counter claim that 80% of applications are being refused.

So it is important to break down the vital components. First of all, the debate often centres around Small Medium Enterprise (SME) lending; even if demand for that type of credit isn’t there it doesn’t automatically translate into a reduced demand for mortgages. The point being that we can’t compare SME loans/business loan demand to that for mortgage credit.

Secondly is ‘what constitutes a refusal’, and this is where common sense diverges. Even the bank accept that if you seek €200,000 and are only offered €100,000 that it is a loan not fit for purpose, this even goes …

Read More

TV3 Morning Show featureing Irish Mortgage Brokers and MyHome.ie

TV3 The Morning Show with Sybil and Martin from Irish Mortgage Brokers on Vimeo.

We were delighted to feature on TV3’s ‘Morning Show with Sybil and Martin’ on their monthly property slot alongside Angela Keegan from MyHome.ie

In the piece we discussed the property market as well as the financial side of it and how changes to both interest rates and taxation changes could affect buyers in the future.

Read More

Fred Harrison talks about the property tax

I called Fred Harrison in connection with a book review I had done for the national broker associations magazine ‘The Professional Insurance Broker’, I wanted to send him on a copy, what was meant to be a quick hello/goodbye turned into a fascinating chat on the topic of property taxes.

Something that we are seeing more of lately is a debate where the public sector are demonized – often for merely existing – and portrayed as being ‘wasteful’ and bloated. Bob Frank in the US said something to me before that stuck in my head, that ‘the serious waste occurs in the private sector, the public sector don’t go around buying hummers and other pointless trophies, the ‘waste’ in the public sector however, is found in the way that they budget and perform versus the private sector’.

I think that is profound, the public sector don’t waste in the same manner and it is important to remember that in any …

Read More

What do banks want when you apply for a mortgage?

Sometimes I ask the folks in the office about the questions they are asked by clients they are dealing with at the time, often it will result in comments like ‘the usual’… ‘How much can I borrow? What’s the best rate etc.’ and while that is true, another question often asked is one that is implied but not directly a question.

‘What do banks want from me when I am making a mortgage application?’

The answer, in the sense of principles, is that that they are looking for a way of determining your ability to repay a debt, some mathematics is used, some gut instinct often plays a part too, qualitative is mixed with quantitative.

Banks use different general mortgage calculators and these use your financial information to give different brackets of lending outcomes. In looking at your p60 they try to establish a year on year figure for your earnings, if you got a raise in the interim (if you did recently you are a rarity!) then …

Read More

Recapitalised banks ‘cherry picking’ applications.

The only banks that are truly ‘open for business’ are those that have received state funding, and this is on both sides of the book.

On the deposit side Anglo are paying market leading rates, they are now fully nationalised, and because their new owners have the deepest pockets the ‘better banks’ who didn’t need a state sponsored bailout cannot compete.

On the lending front only two banks are actively engaged in lending at somewhat regular levels, and they too were saved by the taxpayer (because that is where the state get their money from). However, rather than being the ‘saviours’ of the banking sector they are merely taking the best of applications and opting for the cream of the crop, any ‘increase’ in lending is as much down to artificially low margins on rates (state sponsored), and gaining customers that would have gone elsewhere in an operational market (because if every other bank is unable to obtain state funding to lend with then they have to lose customers to those that did …

Read More

Recapitalised banks 'cherry picking' applications.

The only banks that are truly ‘open for business’ are those that have received state funding, and this is on both sides of the book.

On the deposit side Anglo are paying market leading rates, they are now fully nationalised, and because their new owners have the deepest pockets the ‘better banks’ who didn’t need a state sponsored bailout cannot compete.

On the lending front only two banks are actively engaged in lending at somewhat regular levels, and they too were saved by the taxpayer (because that is where the state get their money from). However, rather than being the ‘saviours’ of the banking sector they are merely taking the best of applications and opting for the cream of the crop, any ‘increase’ in lending is as much down to artificially low margins on rates (state sponsored), and gaining customers that would have gone elsewhere in an operational market (because if every other bank is unable to obtain state funding to lend with then they have to lose customers to those that did …

Read More

What stimulus is there after a 0% rate?

There are generally two strands to monetary stimulus, firstly there are interest rates, and then there is the actual money supply. We’ll talk about both of them here and what will mean for consumers.

Interest rate drops drive money into an economy in a few different ways, obvious to most is that the cost of borrowing comes down, so if a company has to borrow to hire people they can do so, people need less to service debts which increases their disposable income and that puts more money into circulation. The other thing that happens is that bank deposits look less attractive, interest rates dropping actually cause rate compression, something we discussed here before, and that means money (especially at a 0% interest rate) will not sit on deposit and will instead move to corporate bonds which will thus be a way of extending credit to companies and they can finance projects.

In the past many would ‘fly to quality’ …

Read More

New mortgage trends – Will Irish lending turn American?

Today we received an email from Haven Mortgages about their updated interest rates, we were pleasantly surprised because for the first time in a long time there were some very attractive long fixed rates. Recently banks have had no choice other than to lash on margin in order to pay for the funds they were securing. The new 10 year fixed rate from Haven is 5.66% it is also the cheapest rate they offer.

What does this mean for a borrower? Well, on one hand we have Trichet saying that he doesn’t see inflation coming under control until 2010 and as the ECB’s only job is to control inflation it would therefore stand to reason that we won’t see a rate cut any time soon. Economists and commentators (myself included) have made some bad forecasts and for that reason I would be prone to feel that the rate outlook is uncertain, at best the current climate is guesswork. This means that a borrower would do well to buy some stability, a way of doing this …

Read More