Mortgage Mediation, a solution for mortgage holders in Florida (could it work in Ireland?)

Currently about 25% of the mortgages in Florida are delinquent, there is a huge amount of foreclosed property on the market, short sellers can’t offload fast enough, property prices are falling, and it is also a judicial foreclosure market meaning people have similar issues to the problems we have here when a home in negative equity is repossessed, they owe the difference.

A possible solution being tried there is that of mortgage mediation. This is vastly different than the scheme in place in Ireland, and perhaps active mediation with a set point of contact and a set representative would be a good idea, chances are we’ll never know because it is not likely to be rolled out in Ireland.

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Dichotomy in property – apartments versus houses

The recent liquidation sales have possibly started a new trend in the property market in Ireland, one whereby there is an increasing divide between the valuations in different types of property, we have long been saying that the only market worth considering is non-apartment second hand homes in cities, the liquidation sales have reinforced this belief.

While we may be part of Europe, when it comes to living spaces we believe that Irish people favour houses to apartments, we have not crossed that particular Rubicon just yet and unlike our European counterparts, there is still a wish to own the land under the dwelling, over time this may change, but with the exception of the bubble-times the overwhelming mortgage for a first time buyer was used to purchase a house and not an apartment.

The situation regarding the property market in Dublin (for instance) will likely be one where apartments are seen as a totally separate market, in the past many newly built apartments were not priced on a totally dissimilar basis to houses of comparable square footage in the …

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Irish Mortgage Brokers in the press, May 2010

We had a busy month in the financial commentary world. A list of our press mentions is below

23rd May 2010: Sunday Tribune: Safe for a while against rate hikes

23rd May 2010: Sunday Times: A bad time to invest? Q & A with Jill Kerby

23rd May 2010: Sunday Tribune: Mortgage rate increases

16th May 2010: Sunday Times: Keep hold of your home

16th May 2010: Sunday Tribune: Mortgage group mull over Negative Equity Loans

16th May 2010: Sunday Tribune: Recession Rates

14th May 2010: Newstalk 106: Ivan Yates talks to Karl Deeter about Property Prices

15th May 2010: Independent: Property prices must fall to attract investors

13th …

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Are banks lending?

A highly debated element of the recapitalisations to date and the NAMA debate have to do with credit flow, that if banks are given money that they will start to lend it out, the problem being that we currently have a rapid credit contraction.

The new Financial Regulator Matthew Elderfield made his first public appearance since arriving nearly three months ago, and he said “A robust recapitalisation exercise will ensure that Ireland’s banks start this process in a stronger position and with a better funding outlook”. He is alluding to the thing that many people are forgetting, that when a bank has as high loan to deposit ratio they naturally hoard credit during times of widespread credit deterioration in order to ensure they have sufficient capital to face the impairments.

NAMA won’t ‘force lending out’, this is the aspect of fiscal policy not being able to ‘push on a string’, fiscal and monetary policy can pull a string and reign credit …

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Who has the best mortgage rates?

The ‘best rate’ is a misnomer because interpretation of what is the ‘best’ is a subjective question, for a very conservative person a 10 year fixed rate is ‘the best’ and from that point the ‘best’ will likely be whatever is the cheapest ten year fixed rate, having said that, after careful consideration the best 10 year fixed rate mortgage might be one that allows you to pay off a lump sum during the fixed period without any penalty thereby ensuring that you can eat into your capital quicker, is a feature like that worth extra money each month if it isn’t the cheapest? To some people it may be, to others it isn’t.

If you are considering a property purchase and are not a cash buyer then you will need financing, and this comes at a ‘price’, the interpretation of that price is generally the rate, so which rate is better (we’ll assume you want a 1 year fixed rate), 2.5% or 2.6%? Naturally you’d be inclined to say it is …

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How much of a deposit do I need?

When making a mortgage application this is a question that many first time buyers want to know, how much money do I must I have for a deposit? Well, that kind of depends on which bank provides the mortgage finance!

Lending criteria is different for every bank/building society/lender, this goes for rates, the general underwriting criteria as well as the ‘loan to value‘, the deposit you need is 100% minus the Maximum LTV and that will give you the deposit amount you require. For instance, ICS have a maximum LTV of 92% so the deposit you need – if you are obtaining finance through them – is 100% – 92% = 8%.

What is interesting in that example is that when you go ‘sale agreed’ on a property the estate agent will ask for a security deposit and the balance of 10% at the signing of contracts, this is an example …

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Fred Harrison talks about the property tax

I called Fred Harrison in connection with a book review I had done for the national broker associations magazine ‘The Professional Insurance Broker’, I wanted to send him on a copy, what was meant to be a quick hello/goodbye turned into a fascinating chat on the topic of property taxes.

Something that we are seeing more of lately is a debate where the public sector are demonized – often for merely existing – and portrayed as being ‘wasteful’ and bloated. Bob Frank in the US said something to me before that stuck in my head, that ‘the serious waste occurs in the private sector, the public sector don’t go around buying hummers and other pointless trophies, the ‘waste’ in the public sector however, is found in the way that they budget and perform versus the private sector’.

I think that is profound, the public sector don’t waste in the same manner and it is important to remember that in any …

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