Bank of Ireland cuts mortgage rates

Bank of Ireland recently announced new and reduced mortgage rates, which will be available starting Friday the 16th. The highlight is cuts of fixed mortgages rates up to 0.35% for both existing customers and for first-time buyers. The bank decision ups its competition in Ireland’s reviving property market and marks Bank of Ireland as the fourth lender that has cut its rates within the last two months. KBC Bank cut its fixed rate in April, and currently has one of the lowest rates on the market. Permanent TSB and Ulster Bank are the other two lenders who have also taken similar measures.

 

Bank of Ireland’s fixed rate mortgages are based on a property’s loan to value ratio. It has cut its rates for first time buyers with an Loan to Value ratio of 81-90% by 0.25%. Customers with greater down payments and lower Loan to Values ratios also see their mortgage rates cut between 0.1%-0.25%. The greatest reductions however have been for Bank of Ireland’s existing customers, who see their mortgage rates fall by 0.35% if they have a …

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Pepper Money Expands Lending in Ireland

Pepper Money, an Australian lender, will soon begin offering commercial property loans ranging in value from €250,000 to €7.5 million to borrowers in Ireland. It hopes to extend €300 million worth of commercial loans within the next two years, roughly half of what the Strategic Banking Corporation of Ireland has extended at the end of March 2017. These loans will meet the demand of professional buy-to-let borrowers hoping to refinance and the demands by first time buyers for properties with various commercial uses.

 

Pepper Money has been keen on taking risks in lending and exploring new markets, being the first new lender to enter the Irish Market for residential mortgages after the market crash and financial crisis, offering small home loans through brokers and direct channels. While entering the market for commercial mortgages, Pepper also plans to lend to borrowers with historical credit issues who have had trouble meeting criteria to obtain loans from banks and other lending institutions in Ireland. It will offer loans to borrowers as long as they are up to date for the past 18 …

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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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Sunday Independent quote Irish Mortgage Brokers

The Sunday Independent mentioned Irish Mortgage Brokers in their article yesterday. We were making the point that being ‘middle class’ today means less than it did in the past when it comes to housing.

Karl Deeter, of Irish Mortgage Brokers, argues that today’s middle-class lack the conventional trappings of previous generations.

“Many have been badly hit with negative equity property, others are unable to save the 20pc deposit that the Central Bank demands. Their cost of living is very high, their wages haven’t improved in real terms. They’re facing huge rent hikes. They pay an awful lot of tax.

“And yet the Government thinks they will have somehow been able to save for a 20pc deposit [to buy a home]. Where do they think the money is coming from? They’re the group that have been hit hardest. They can’t rely on State help like those below them can, and they can’t avail of the sort of tax arrangements that the elites can. They’ve borne the brunt of the recession and they’re bearing the brunt of this so-called recovery.”

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One Big Switch findings on mortgage holders

There was an interesting infographic out today from One Big Switch showing what people have done in order to make their mortgage repayments.

It ranged from working extra hours, to taking fewer holidays and socializing less. What is interesting about this, is that nobody tends to look at the wider economy effects of high mortgage rates, and the Central Bank while saying they want to examine them, cannot and will not do anything about it.

Higher rates act like an informal ‘tax’, and as some banks are foreign owned it means taking income out of the Irish economy and funnelling it elsewhere, this affects our balance of trade and was a reason we always questioned the Patrick Honohan diktat of not having an issue if all banks were foreign owned.

This informal tax reduces expenditure in the productive economy and goes towards rationalizing zombie balance sheets, so lower rates should be a priority for everybody, but the way to get there isn’t force, it’s competition and for that reason we are hopeful that the switching campaign will be a successful …

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Pat Kenny show, the ‘Friday Panel’

We were asked to take part in Pat Kenny’s ‘Friday Panel’ which was hosted by Shane Coleman. The discussion was on many property matters and went on to cover politics and crime. The panel members were Michael O’Regan the political correspondent of the Irish Times, Martina Devlin who is a well known journalist and author, and lastly was our own Karl Deeter.

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Irish Mortgage Brokers mentioned in the Independent

In an article by Sinead Ryan in the Independent we were quoted on several matters:

With all the talk of celebrating the Rising in 2016, it won’t extend to a rising mortgage market, says broker Karl Deeter. “The changes to lending criteria and in particular the Central Bank changes meant that while 90pc LTV (loan to value) mortgages were available, as the year progressed more banks started to withdraw them. Due to the way the figures are going to be reported in 2016 it will be a case of, ‘Want a 90pc mortgage? Get it in January or July’. And that’s because the half-year periods are going to be the times in which they are mostly available.”

One positive change, says Deeter, was that interest rates came down during the year, in particular fixed rates as banks came under pressure to explain Ireland’s excessive rates compared to those enjoyed by our EU neighbours. Although all banks rocked up at the Banking Inquiry, and most were (or tried their best to sound) contrite, the truth is that pillar Bank …

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Mortgage rates falling and set to head even lower

We were never advocates or in agreement with the ‘make government force mortgage rates down’ campaign (albeit on very friendly terms with the campaign promoters). The reason was that rates needed to come down in a natural way or banks would curtail credit or charge more elsewhere, this was a balancing act between sorting out operational costs and back book issues.

The belief we had, and one that does seem to be bearing fruit, was a slower (ie: less popular) road to lower rates, brought about by competition.

This has been happening, it doesn’t make headlines because it’s a slower burn but the trend is under way and it goes like this: more competition equals lower rates, the higher rates spur competition as it attracts new entrants and in time, when matched with a low yield curve, rates will fall.

The introduction of Pepper into the market, along with general competition has meant that the rate reduction cycle has begun. The hallmarks are that firstly, rates are high after a financial crash, that always happens, those high rates bring in …

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A picture speaks 256,000 words

The Surveyors Journal did an excellent info-graphic on how much it costs to build a house (with no land cost factored in)

It’s fairly clear that costs are not as simple as ‘cheaper land’. That is only one part of the equation, the other parts are things like local authority costs, Part V, VAT, expected profits, all of which are not directly linked to prime costs of the materials and labour that creates the construction part of the home.

Worth looking at twice before wondering why housing is so damn expensive.

 

 

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