A handbag of recent thoughts…

In the Irish Times, Isabel Morton echoes some thoughts that I also have, that the property market represents a good opportunity at present, there are considerations though – namely to look for non-apartment second hand properties within the M50.

Last night I got to help launch the ‘Irish Property Buyer’s Handbook 2012‘, the second edition which was written by Carol Tallon [disclosure: the lowlight is my chapter on mortgages]. Minister of State for Housing and Planning Jan O’Sullivan was the guest of honour. It went well, and I think the book will be a success amongst prospective buyers because it really is a great piece of work on the practical aspects of buying property.

Phil Hogan is looking for some new thoughts on how to avoid a repeat of Priory Hall, the idea being ‘compulsory certificates‘ by architects. This seems like a great idea in soundbite format, …

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Should the regulator get involved with mortgage pricing?

We touched on this topic over on MyHome.ie last Friday in our weekly blog contribution to their site.

It is important to look at this from a few perspectives

1. Regulation and the role of the Regulator 2. Past decisions by the Regulator 3. Politics and policy

1. Regulation and the role of the Regulator: The idea of regulation is not for price control, rather it is about prudential control. As galling as it seems to everybody, the Financial Regulator is not (nor should they be) empowered to tell banks what prices they can charge. This is sickening given that we have spent €10,000,000,000 this year alone via the NPRF in supporting our banks (€8.8bn to AIB and €1.2bn to Bank of Ireland).

Readers, if you know of other jurisdictions where regulators set prices please let us know! The idea of a Regulator is that you pay for them …

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The Morning Show: Distressed property auction

We were featured on TV3’s ‘The Morning Show with Sybil & Martin’ in a piece they did on the recent Allsops auction. Angela Keegan of MyHome.ie and Karl Deeter of our own company took part.

The general view we have is that if you mark down prices enough then people are willing to buy what they see as value, that means that either prices remain too high or sentiment is such that appetite is not there at the current price level (we suspect the former weighs heavier than the latter!).

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PTsb Overpayment form & is it good value?

There has been some coverage of people saying that the PTsb offer of a discount for overpayment is not good value, that the bonus should instead be in the region of 25%.

I don’t know where that figure has been taken from, having tried to work it out several times we just can’t make it stack up.

The form that you need in order to opt for this over payment is here.

Is the idea of an overpayment any good?

In the PTsb scheme you have to consider ‘net interest’ rather than just stating that it isn’t a great idea. The figures I have done are based on the clients position rather than what the bank may or may not make – in the same way that I don’t query the margin a shopkeeper gets on a Mars bar – which is where some focus has been on this.

Rules of scheme: you can’t pay more than 50% of your mortgage, every 5k gets a …

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Nyberg report shows that Brokers had nothing to do with the crash

On page 21 of the report ([footnote 27]- available on BankingInquiry.gov.ie) the following appears:

Mortgage intermediaries began to emerge as a force in the residential mortgage market in the mid-1990’s, initially as a distribution channel for non-branch based mortgage lenders. Due in part to alliances with estate agents they exercised significant control over the “first time buyer” market in particular. This market was viewed by lenders as an attractive market segment and key for customer acquisition and exit financing for development lending.

At the peak of the market in 2005 mortgage intermediaries accounted for about 45% of new residential mortgage loans. Against this background, intermediaries were able to leverage their relationships with lenders pushing for better mortgage terms (and sometimes larger loans). This led to a considerable reduction in bank margins (interest and commission). Many banks sought to compensate by increasing loan volumes to maintain earnings. While these changes impacted on the mortgage market, mortgage intermediaries had only a limited and indirect impact on the banking problems which are the subject of this …

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