Sunday Business Post: More haste less speed in the mortgage crisis

Angela Keegan of MyHome.ie wrote an opinion piece in the Sunday Business Post yesterday which included some of our firms commentary:

Figures compiled by Karl Deeter at Irish Mortgage Brokers showed that the size of the average first-time buyer mortgage peaked in the first quarter of 2008, at €251,000.

At the moment, the average drawdown is €188,000. According to Deeter, the ‘average mortgage’ from 2008 on a 2.1 per cent tracker costs €1,076 per month. Current TRS is €80 per month, so the net cost is €996.With the new, bigger TRS in the Programme for Government, the TRS will now be €119, resulting in a monthly payment of €957, an extra saving of €39 per month.

Compare that to the new first-time buyers, who will miss out on TRS. If they take out a loan for €188,000 at 4.3 per cent variable, their cost per month is €1,023.With rates likely to push up over 5 per cent, irrespective of the ECB, Deeter believes that, by this time next year, the divergence between the two mortgages could be as much as …

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News of the World: Money expert on Debt

IRELAND is in payback mode at the moment. As a country we’re experiencing “deleveraging”, which means that many people are using most of their money to pay back excessive borrowing. However, that practice only puts cash into the banking system and not the real economy.

This is because banks aren’t lending — they’re too busy using the cash to put out fires within their own institutions. There are 786,000 Irish households with a mortgage, and six per cent of them are in trouble. The vast majority of that six per cent haven’t paid the bank a single cent in more than six months.

SOLUTION

Our Government-led solution is to encourage that to continue. They’ve made it almost impossible for banks to repossess homes — Labour’s solution of a two-year moratorium on repossessions reeks of “delay and pray”. A further 24,000 mortgages have been restructured and are still not performing, while 35,000 are only staying afloat due to a change in their conditions — mainly by not paying back the loan, only servicing the …

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Irish Mortgage Brokers and MyHome.ie on TV3’s ‘The Morning Show’, 2nd March 2011

We were delighted to feature again on TV’s ‘The Morning Show with Sybil and Martin’ (although Brian was sitting in for Martin) on their monthly property slot.

This week we spoke about the necessity of price drops to get a property sold, it is likely the single most important factor, it is also overlooked that there is often a carry cost or opportunity cost loss if sellers don’t drop prices.

Next month we are likely to cover ’empties’, that will be a fascinating show worth tuning in for!

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The first time buyer conundrum, to buy or not to buy?

At the moment in Ireland there is a conundrum for first time buyers: should you buy now and potentially over-pay on purpose?

It’s an unusual one and it partly related to property prices, it is a combination of taxation changes that will occur from the start of 2012 and expectations of interest rate changes from both banks and the ECB.

The argument of ‘rent or buy‘ is well established, we produced report on it with Peter Stafford (now of the IAVI/SCS) and Frank Quinn of Senior College Dun Laoghaire, but this is different – buy now or buy later isn’t taking the default of renting as an assumed continuous option, rather it is a case of delaying for the sake of market timing.

The changes in tax are on the tax expenditure side, namely TRS (tax relief at source).

Currently it is applicable to a maximum of €10,000 p.a. and the rates applicable are …

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Property prices and property costs, they are not the same, so do you rent or buy?

We have seen a growing trend in our brokerage of people getting mortgage approvals (mainly first time buyers) and not drawing down, this might indicate some pent up demand in housing – which if it comes will be regular houses as opposed to apartments – or it indicates fear of buying in general.

The thing that is pervasive is the ‘price’ of housing, and the idea is to wait until we reach the bottom. That is a perfectly rational concept, and when you are not purchasing over a long term then the price now (we’ll take from financial market vernacular and call it the ‘spot price’ of housing) is the main thing to focus on.

However, that is only one part of the ‘price’ because the majority of new buyers are not buying for cash. The other price is the price of money, the financing costs. We indicated in our annual outlook that banks would, in 2011 alone, increase rates by a further 100bps or 1%, that any bank which isn’t government owned will have variable rates in the region …

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Mortgage providers to restrict rural lending

We were mentioned in the Irish Independent today in a story about lenders restricting mortgage credit in rural areas. They are doing this by lowering LTV’s or coming up with requirements on population size for LTV’s (Loan to Values).

Mortgage broker Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers said lenders were now discriminating against those seeking loans to buy property in rural areas. “If you are not buying in Dublin, Cork, Limerick or Galway cities they do not want to know. This is all part of a growing trend to discriminate against properties outside of the cities,” Mr Deeter said.

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TV3 ‘The Morning Show with Sybil & Martin’ featuring Irish Mortgage Brokers 11th Jan 2011

We were delighted to be part of TV3’s ‘The Morning Show, with Sybil & Martin‘. We are fans of the show and enjoy the relaxed nature of the conversational commentary style they are so adept at. In this clip we spoke about the costs of finance and the potential removal of fixed rates, while Marian Finnegan (of SherryFitzgerald) covers housing, her background is in urban economics and she lectured at both NUIG and UL before moving to SherryFitzgerald. We hope you enjoy the clip.

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Primetime: Housing & Mortgage piece, 5th October 2010

We were delighted to appear on RTE’s Primetime with Miriam O’Callaghan, whe I converted the video the sync went weird so you can find the original here.

Primetime looked at the property market news of a 40% drop in prices from peak to date and after the package piece they had an ‘in studio’ piece. The debate centred around property and mortgages as well as some of the issues regarding negative equity.

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Household lending is up

It’s kind of funny how you can pick things up anecdotally and then see official figures confirm your suspicions. In August we saw a good number of draw-downs, I called a few friends in other brokers to see what was happening with them and they said the same thing, bumper numbers (albeit by 2010 standards they are still horrific).

The high savings rate has translated into a higher level of repayment/prepayment on mortgages, in our annual prediction we said that lending would sit still or drop for this very reason, but that may yet prove mistaken if the trend continues.

2010 is the first time I can remember ever having a flipped season, normally nothing happens in the summer, the action is all in spring and autumn. However, the thing that every other broker said [and this goes for our firm too] is that August wasn’t necessarily ‘busy’, rather it was the flow through of all the constipated pipeline of the first half of the year. That isn’t exactly a beautiful connotation but …

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