Mortgage switching: how, when, why

What does it mean to switch mortgages? Why would someone want to switch? What can be gained from switching? Finally, if one wants to switch, how should they go about doing it?

The first question is easy to answer, though oftentimes “switching” can get conflated with “remortgaging.” Don’t be fooled; these refer to two different things that, while similar in concept, can have different implications for the borrower.

“Remortgaging” simply refers to getting a new mortgage to replace a previous one; this can be done with one’s existing lender or a new one.

“Switching” is the process of taking one’s existing mortgage and moving it to a new lender.

Now, for the next question: why would a borrower want to switch mortgages? There are a number of reasons for doing so. Firstly, a borrower might be dissatisfied with their current lender for one reason or another, like poor service or lack of responsiveness to inquiries. If borrowers think another lender will provide better service, tat would be a good reason for switching mortgages to said lender.

Another reason for switching …

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Concern for Housing Supply in Ireland

COVID regulations have hit many markets hard, but possibly the worst be in the housing industry. Due to certain restrictions, the housing supply of homes built between 2020 and 2022 is predicted to be 23,000 fewer than normal. This, combined with the growing demand for housing as well as the built-up saving of household revenue during the pandemic could cause the demand for housing in Ireland to skyrocket, leading to higher pricing. Over the last year, it is predicted that over €13 billion have been saved up by families in Ireland, and with that many households are looking to improve their housing situation at the end of quarantine. The spending demand of these households far exceeds to the market supply of housing to be offered to said customers.

The Central Bank predicts that there will be 18,500 new housing completions in 2020, and in 2021 and 2022 that number will rise to around 22,000. This in total will be 23,000 fewer houses entering the market in these three years compared to the normal growth rate of housing supply prior to …

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Ulsterbank fire the next shot in the mortgage ‘rate-war’

Ulsterbank recently upped the ante in the mortgage rate-war by reducing a suite of their rates, the story was covered in the Independent which also quoted Irish Mortgage Brokers.

Karl Deeter said the cuts represent the latest shot to be fired in the mortgage rate war.

“In response to Avant Money’s European-style rates, Ulster Bank has had to respond and now it means that other lenders are under even greater pressure to follow or beat these rates.”

He said this means customers will win. But they have to switch lender is they are paying high rates.

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Who are Finance Ireland?

We are sometimes asked ‘who are finance Ireland’ because people don’t know the company. In short, they are a broker only lender, this is yet another reason you should never go to a bank directly, they couldn’t tell you about their rates and products if they wanted to and in this instance their prices are amongst the best there is!

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Mortgage approvals

Analysing figures released by the Banking and Payments Federation, the article sends a somewhat contradictory message. On the one hand, first time buyer mortgage approval volumes increased 19% this April compared to April of 2016. However, this volume also represents a 8.4% drop from the number of mortgages approved last month in March.

The decrease in the number of first time buyer mortgages this month is not indicative of the generally increasing annual trend, and may be due to the lack of buyer discounts offered in the month of April, when there isn’t many major holidays or events. April is generally the worst time of the year to finance a house (Business Insider).

On a larger scale, the trend in approval volumes for all mortgages follows that of first time buyer mortgages, but to a less exaggerated extent. The number in April represents an increase of 11.7% compared to April of 2016, and a decrease of 11.6% compared to March of this year.

The greater increase in first time buyer mortgages as compared to all mortgages could indicate that more …

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Central Bank mortgage arrears published for Q3 of 2016

The Central Bank published the quarterly mortgage arrears figures today, here are the key findings (taken from their press release).

The number of mortgage accounts for principal dwelling houses (PDH) in arrears fell further in the third quarter of 2016; this marks the thirteenth consecutive quarter of decline. A total of 79,562 (11 per cent) of accounts were in arrears at end-Q3, a decline of 3.1 per cent relative to Q2 2016.

The number of accounts in arrears over 90 days at end-September was 56,350 (8 per cent of total), reflecting a quarter-on-quarter decline of 2.1 per cent. This represents the twelfth consecutive decline in the number of PDH accounts in arrears over 90 days.

The majority of maturity categories of arrears, including the over 720 days’ category, declined in Q3 2016. This category recorded a fifth consecutive decline, having declined for the first time in Q3 2015.

The number of PDH mortgage accounts that were classified as restructured at end-September was 121,140. Of these restructured accounts, 88 per cent were deemed to be meeting the terms of their current …

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TodayFM ‘The last word’ features Irish Mortgage Brokers

We were asked to discuss mortgage lending rules with Matt Cooper on the ‘Last Word’ on Today FM along with Dermot O’Leary from Goodbody Stockbrokers.

Our general view is that the Central Bank is playing two different hands at the same table, on one hand they have low rates which push up property prices, on the other they try to keep prices down with MacroPrudential rules.

This hasn’t been working and all it does is ensure that the wealth doesn’t accrue to regular households and instead ends up in the hands of those who can afford to buy assets. This is a mistake and we explain both this and some of the other issues involved in the segment.

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RTE Drivetime: Discussing Home Choice Loan, 25th August 2016.

On the 25th of August we were featured on RTE’s ‘Drivetime’ with Mary Wilson to discuss Home Choice Loan which is a state run mortgage lender. The state lender has only done 21 loans to date or about 3 loans a year.

There are many reasons that HomeChoiceLoan should be popular but in practice they are not lending and there are many questions about the validity and use the scheme has.

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What the Central Bank said about cases in arrears that are in the court system

Below is an email excerpt from the Central Bank on the area of court proceedings. We get frustrated with misinformation about stadiums of people doomed to homelessness and sums up around 20,000 court proceedings being bandied about. They are bad numbers and should be ignored, however, it doesn’t stop people from repeating things that are wrong.

There is also the information (not yet public as far as I know) from the Court Service which indicates the live number of cases in the system at the end of the same period was 12,252 again, nowhere near some of the figures that were being trumped about at the time.

(email below)

> From: CentralBank <*****@centralbank.ie> > Date: ** April 2016 at 15:18:19 GMT+1 > To: ********** > Subject: RE: Clarification of Quarterly Arrears Stats > > Hi *****, Somebody else has just come back to me with a more useful answer for you: The figure for PDH mortgages – at end-December 2015-there were around 13,500 accounts for which court proceedings have been issued (and have not yet concluded). > > …

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Newstalk: Pat Kenny talks to Irish Mortgage Brokers

Pat Kenny interviewed Karl Deeter about the Central Bank lending rules and why, in his view, they could have been done slightly differently and better. It’s an interesting insight into the difference between control-lead regulation and results-oriented regulation.

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