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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Everybody pays, even the innocent

There were many innocent parties to the credit fuelled property bubble, they are generally those who didn’t borrow, or who carried no debt, choosing instead to live frugally, and if they used debt they used it wisely. Many of these people are at the polar ends of the age spectrum, very young (who don’t even have access to credit) or much older (who have paid off their mortgages), something we will all need to get used to though is the fact that everybody is going to pay for the mess left behind, this goes farther than NAMA.

The process I am describing is already under way, the very payments system (our financial infrastructure), is going to be used to generate economic rent from the people of Ireland in order to bring in more profit to banks so that they can repair their balance sheets. This price will be paid by the taxpayer outside of the bailout money already being supplied on our behalf. This will be even paid by people who manage to …

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AIB closing to switchers: Why? And what does it mean?

AIB announced today that they will be closed to switcher mortgage business effective immediately. We spoke to Mary Wilson from RTE’s Drivetime on the topic and we stated similar views to what you will read here.

The options open to a bank with limited liquidity are essentially ‘who do we lend to’, in terms of expanding credit or extending credit to where it may have a meaningful economic impact. Sadly (because I have to be honest, as a broker this really sucks for us) that means cutting out certain parts of the market such as switchers.

The rationale is that switchers already have the money, they are merely shopping around for a better price, first time buyers on the other hand, haven’t even gotten the money to buy a home with yet and if you have to choose between the two I think it is fair to say that AIB made the right decision. Their commitment to the state during their recapitalisation was to first time buyers, not refinancing applicants or …

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Mortgage options down 50% as of 2010

The Examiner carried a story about the number of options available to borrowers in the present market and the fact that they have dropped over 50% since 2008.

In 2008 there were 380 different mortgages available on the market across all banks and all rate suites, today, that number rests at 179 meaning that at least 50% of the choice is gone. That is also reflective of the fact that so many lenders have exited the market. Below is a list of several who are no longer lending here.

Halifax Fresh Mortgages Springboard Stepstone Nua Homeloans First Active GE Money Leeds

Many of these providers were in the non-prime/specialist/sub-prime category, however, a drop of 50% in choice doesn’t mean that there are no options left. Certainly tracker mortgages are a thing of the past as are Standard Variables (referring to new business for these products, existing clients will keep their existing product).

The other factor that makes this less spectacular is that many lenders replicate offerings, so when each lender pulled out, their two year fixed …

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Synopsis of the ‘Code of Conduct on Mortgage Arrears’ February 2010

The Financial Regulator recently brought out a new code of conduct for mortgage arrears, the full length eight page document is here.

The code applies to: all of the regulated mortgage lenders in the state (this includes the sub-prime lenders), as well as all mortgage lenders operating here via other EU states (eg: Leeds Building Soc.)

It applies to consumers only, and only in respect of their principle private residence in the state. The code should be treated as an extension of the Consumer Protection Code.

Scope: The code covers finance for primary homes, lenders must adopt flexible procedures that aim to assist the borrower as far as possible. It sets out what the lenders must do in an arrears case but allows repossession where the code is not appropriate (fraud, breach of contract, abandonment). It doesn’t relieve the borrower from their duties to repay

Legal Background: S117 of the Central Bank Act 1989

Avoiding an arrears problem: Once …

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Primetime 2nd February 2010: Mortgage Market Focus

Primetime took a look at the mortgage market situation in Ireland on the 2nd of February, they spoke to various industry experts as well as people on the street about their feelings on the situation. The clips below are well worth watching.

In this clip Primetime spoke to people on the street, and the general opinion was one of empathy for borrowers in trouble but the overall tone was that people didn’t necessarily want to step in and have their tax money going to bail them out. Then David Murphy interviews an anonymous borrower who is in debt trouble, as well as getting the opinion of Irish Mortgage Brokers Operations Manager Karl Deeter and Paul Joyce of the Free Legal Aid Centre (FLAC).

In the second video Pat Farrell of the IBF (Irish Bankers Federation), Stephen Kinsella (Lecturer of economics at University Limerick, and author of ‘Ireland in 2050), Pauline Blackwell of FLAC (free legal advice centre) and Ciaran Cuffe of the Green Party talk to Miriam O’Callaghan about the issues of debt and the solutions for solving …

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Marian Finucane Show: Interest Rate Guide

Last Saturday Charlie Weston (award winning Personal Finance editor with the Irish Independent) Karl Deeter (of Irish Mortgage Brokers) were on the Marian Finucane show on RTE 1 (audio here), during the show Karl mentioned a file with mortgage rate information on it that you could download. The file was a mid-sized pdf but they don’t embed easily in the existing site for the show so we are posting it on our site and RTE Will link to it instead.

The file in question is here or you can click on the image to the left, if you have any questions feel free to call us at the number which is at the top of every page on this site.

Thanks for listening and for your enquiries, we were delighted to have a representative from our firm on such a big show, we are huge fans and we hope our opinions …

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Taxing Banks & Taxing Risk

In the first clip, James Galbraith (son of the famous JK), economics professor at University of Texas, discusses whether a new tax on big banks is justified. Ken Bentsen, of the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association, and Mark Calabria, of the Cato Institute, share their insight as well.

In the second clip Mark Walsh, of ‘Left Jab,’ and Dan Mitchell, of the Cato Institute, discuss taxing banks based on their risk to the system.

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