Mortgage arrears in Ireland fall despite pandemic’s economic effects

Over the past year, the covid-19 pandemic has caused many economic challenges for Irish citizens and people worldwide. Between level 5 lockdowns, business closures, and soaring levels of unemployment, it would be logical to believe that people may be falling behind on payments, especially mortgages, which are most people’s largest and most important monthly payment. However, recent data shows that the number of mortgages in arrears actually  decreased during the first quarter of 2021, despite level 5 lockdowns and record high unemployment rates.

Recent data from the Central Bank shows that the number of family home loans in arrears decreased by 2,838 during the first three months of 2021. During this period, the Covid-adjusted unemployment rate hit its peak of 25.1 per cent in early January, as thousands of businesses were forced to close their doors due to level 5 lockdowns. This is surprising given that the number of people behind on their mortgage payments actually decreased, while conventional wisdom would expect to see an increase in arrears. This contrast suggests that government supports, such as pandemic unemployment benefits, have …

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What does it mean if your mortgage is in arrears?

The mortgage on your house or apartment is one of the biggest and most important financial commitments that most people have. If you fall behind on these payments, it could put you in a very difficult  place financially. When you miss mortgage payments, you may fall into what’s known as mortgage arrears. If you fall into arrears, your lender may eventually repossess your home. This is why it’s important to contact your lenders Arrears Support Unit as soon as you fall into arrears, or even pre-arrears. However, repossession is a last resort for your lender, as they generally want you to make all your payments on time. This is why, before they repossess your home, your lender is required to offer a Mortgage Arrears Resolution Process (MARP), per central bank guidelines. Under the MARP, your lender will offer a variety of solutions to help you pay back what you owe, in addition to paying back the amount in arrears in full.

If you enter the MARP, your lender will first conduct an assessment of your financial situation and your ability …

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Will Ireland’s mortgage rates fall or rise after the pandemic?

Ireland’s high-interest rates have long been an issue. Although some financial and legal concerns will ensure that they remain above average, overall interest rates may and should be reduced. New and existing borrowers might save thousands of dollars in interest payments throughout their mortgage. This is especially true for existing borrowers who are already paying interest rates of 3 to 3.5 percent. Many people may convert to rates closer to 2%, saving them a lot of money throughout their loan. According to Brokers Ireland, Irish mortgage holders now pay more than twice what most of their competitors do.

The NTMA increased its borrowings for Ireland at negative interest rates for seven and ten years, keeping interest rates on international markets at historic lows. Still, borrowing costs in Ireland are always in line with those in the rest of the EU; mortgage rates are still generally low. Because of the present recession, interest rates have been maintained low. But how long can it go on? Is this a paradigm shift for us?

The following are the most crucial points: Maintain …

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Why are house prices surging in Ireland?

House prices in Ireland have surged in the last 12 months. Two separate reports have pointed to a 13 percent increase in house prices over the last twelve months, both in Dublin and nationwide. Property website myhome.ie, which is owned by The Irish Times, pointed to a ‘red hot’ demand outpacing supply as one of the main reasons for this increase in their latest quarterly report. According to MyHome, house prices nationally increased 13 per cent to €303,000 in the second quarter of 2021, breaking the €300,000 mark for the first time in recorded history. In Dublin specifically, they found the average price to be €412,000, representing a 10.6 percent increase on the year. Daft.ie, another property website, reported similar increases in the price of homes on its website, up 13 per cent on the year to €284,000, the highest such increase since 2015.  This increase means house prices have increased for four consecutive quarters, the first time this has happened since 2014.

This substantial increase put house prices nationally 14.3 per cent lower than their highest-ever level in 2007. …

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Spanish Bank Transforms Irish Mortgage Market

Spanish mortgage provider Avant Money has just introduced a new range of products that have the potential to transform the Irish mortgage market. Avant Money has become the first mortgage provider in Ireland to offer a 30 year, fixed rate mortgage. In this type of mortgage, the repayments will be the same every month for the entire 30 year lifetime of the loan. Avant Money’s new fixed rate mortgages have lifetimes between 15 and 30 years, and offer rates as low as 2.25 %. These new long term offerings were introduced shortly after Finance Ireland shook up the market with its innovative 20 year mortgage. These latest moves by brokers represent a huge step for the Irish market, as product offerings here are beginning to more closely resemble that of Spain and France.

Because wholesale interest rates are currently at historic lows, homeowners in Ireland are more increasingly taking out longer term fixed rate loans. Avant Money’s new portfolio of products includes 15 year, 20 year, 25 year, and 30 year fixed rate mortgages, and the rates vary based on …

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5 Negotiating tips to make sure you get the best house price

When buying a home, you can expect to negotiate with the seller or estate agent for a better price. In fact, many homes end up selling below the asking price, since most sellers ask for slightly more than market value to account for negotiations. Your ability to negotiate could have a huge impact on whether or not you pay the best possible price for your property. Here are some tips to help prepare you for this part of the home buying process.

1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate

While asking for a better deal may seem awkward at first, it is completely normal to haggle for a house price. The reality is that haggling and negotiating happens regularly in the real estate business, and many homes sell below asking price every day. Most sales people are not offended by you asking for a better price, and it is often quite the opposite, as this signals your interest in buying the property. However, it is crucial to ask politely and avoid any hostility and confrontation during negotiation.

2. Research the local …

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7 Tips for Entrepreneurs in Ireland

Being an entrepreneur can be both exciting and challenging. Here are 7 tips to help you navigate the ups and downs of building a successful business.

1. Learn to Embrace Risk

Starting your own business is a risk in itself, but don’t be afraid to take on more risk along the way. If you are too cautious and risk-averse, you may end up missing out on great opportunities for growth. Jeff Bezos has said that learning to take risks has helped him to realize that he wouldn’t regret failure, but he would regret not trying.

2. Have self Confidence

A crucial element of being a successful entrepreneur is leadership. And the most important trait required to be an effective leader is self-confidence. Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors, famously said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you’re right.”

3. Learn From Your Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life, and nobody’s perfect, especially in business. However, many entrepreneurs tend to either ignore their mistakes, or dwell on them for too long. A more productive approach is to …

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5 Things to Consider when Viewing a House in Ireland

As a first time buyer, viewing houses can be exhausting. There are countless things to consider, such as the layout of the home, the location and nearby schools, and much, much more. This can be a bit overwhelming when viewing open houses, as there is so much to observe you might miss some key details about the property. In this article, we will discuss 5 key things to observe and be aware of when viewing houses, so your dream home doesn’t turn into a nightmare.

1.How long has the property been on the market?

The first question you should ask the estate agent is how long the property has been on the market. If a property has been on the market for more than a few months and still isn’t selling, there’s usually a reason why. While this could come down to a number of things, from price to hidden structural issues to low demand, this is a good gauge of potential red flags.

2. Account for renovation

Many people make the mistake of buying houses that appear to be …

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Costs you Should be Aware of before Buying a House

There are more costs associated with buying your first home than just the 10% deposit. There are many additional fees, duties and taxes that you should be aware of before buying your home. 

 

The first fee you should be aware of is the stamp duty. The stamp duty is not included in your mortgage, so it’s a good idea to save this fee up in addition to your 10% deposit. The stamp duty is calculated at 1% of the selling price on a home or residential property of up to €1m, and 2% of the selling price on homes and residential properties above €1m. This stamp duty may change however, and full details are available on the Revenue.ie website. 

Legal fees are another hidden cost of buying a home that you should look out for. There are a lot of legal aspects that have to be accounted for when officially transferring ownership of the property to you, so you should find a trusted real estate lawyer to take care of this transfer. Legal fees will vary depending on …

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What does Ireland truly stand economically compared to other European powers? (pt. 3)

Another form of measurement used when accessing the healthiness and prosperity of a country is the state of its citizens. In this case, a national indicator of household welfare is known as “actual individual consumption” or AIC. This measurement is also a part of the GDP, where it takes into account the consumption of households on services such as healthcare, education, and housing. What AIC does not take into account is the collective government spending such as defence, policing, debt services etc…

Internationally, AIC includes about 2/3 of all GDP. AIC seems to be the best fit measurement of current living standards of households, which can also e adjusted for price differentials across different countries. Ireland currently ranks less high on this measure than compared to others. Ireland’s AIC rank in the European Union has jumped around quite a bit. At 11th place in the 1990’s up to 6th in 20078. But then afterwards it fell to 14th place in 2009 and returned up to 12th place by 2019. Using this measurement, Ireland actually falls behind all six of the …

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