Five Things to look at Before Switching your Mortgage

 

Switching your mortgage can be a lot of work but it can also save you a large amount of money. Before switching, you should pay attention to the following:

It is important to know what your repayment history looks like. Have you been making your payments on time or has this been a problem for you? This will be shown on your credit history as well which is something that will be looked at by the banks. You should also check to make sure that you do not owe more than what your property is now worth. Switching your mortgage may be difficult for you if this is the case. Figure out your LTV which is the loan to value. This is a ratio that lenders use to figure out how much risk is being taken on the loan. You can figure out this number by dividing the barrowed amount by the appraised value and multiply that amount by one hundred. Lets say for example that the property that you are looking to buy is €300,000 and you deposit …

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Mortgage lending trends

Bank’s lending practices have been on a rollercoaster ride that has yet to have slowed down. Due to many different economic factors, the trends tend to increase and then decrease with ease over short periods of time. The factor that has the most influence on these decisions by the bank is Brexit. Behind this name, there lies an endless amount of disruptions that are unpredictable in categorical and economic related areas and loom over every decision that the bank makes.

In general, Brexit has slowed down the lending process. That being said, there are some times in which Brexit brings about significant positive changes in the market. After the Brexit deadline was extended to October 31, 2019, there was a significant rise in the amount of lending. This change in some ways rebooted the market, given that the beginning of 2019 had a slow start. 

After the extension, approvals for mortgages increased by 10pc for the year on year comparisons. There were 4,926 loans that had been approved, totaling up to €1.14 billion according to the Banking and Payments Federation …

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First time buyer steps explained

Being able to take out a mortgage has become a major hassle for all types of home buyers, but especially first time buyers. Recently, a 2018 study by the Central Bank reported that the best position to be in so that your request for a loan can be approved by one of the 7 largest lending banks is in a couple with a substantial down payment already available.

This is most likely the case because a couple can bring in two salaries, making a steady stream of income more reliable even if one person were to lose their job. Additionally, having a large down payment reduces risk for the lender. If you were to foreclose on a property, meaning you couldn’t afford to pay your mortgage anymore, there would be significantly less consequences on the lender side.

Although this is an ideal situation for approval, it is not the only solution. Plenty of first time buyers are individuals without extremely high credit scores and salaries, but there are a few key parts that must be fulfilled in order …

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The ESRI and the Central Bank butt heads.

This headline appeared in the Indo today. We agree with the idea of a safer market, but also agree with the ESRI on this, that it was badly timed, inappropriate and will actually cause more problems than it fixes due to being badly timed.

We would agree, our submission on the subject was one of the few that articulated the problems, why the moves wouldn’t prevent boom-bust and gave empirical evidence supporting same. Meanwhile many others were falling over themselves to commend Patrick Honohan and the Central Bank for being such good regulators.

They may have insulated the banks, but it’s at the expense of a market that will not provide for all of the people that need housing, in doing this it also helps to encourage speculation as one by-product is higher yields which re-attract investors into a market.

The ESRI have articulated this better than we did, and we support their findings. Oddly, the person behind the statements was the best economist the Central …

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Talking property tax on WLR FM

We spoke to WLRFM yesterday (sound file here) about some of the contentious issues with a market value based property tax. Using values will ensure that the quantum collected is not strictly linked to any costs associated with running a local authority.

In the past this was a huge problem, it was the reason our last property tax died off, and when it came to domestic rates, it was used as political fodder in the 1977 general election where its repeal swung the election.

There are alternatives, Site or Land value tax and to have the tax linked to costs of a local authority would be far better, but we are instead opting for the path which suits the Government most rather than those who pay it.

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Investor defaults and ‘receivers of rent’

Today Bank of Ireland chief Richie Boucher spoke about strategic defaulters, the wording used was different, he spoke about tendencies to engage in “a diversion of rental income that should be coming to the bank”.

Who will the receivers be? I suspect it will be some of the well known estate agents who I know are in talks with other banks on the same basis. The ‘receiver of rent’ clause in many mortgage contracts is often unenforced. The ability to obtain it is not generally contested but it still requires a court order and then the operational difficulty of getting to the property to explain this to the tenant and then taking over the collection of the rent.

Why has the level of arrears spiked in the investment pool of business? Theories abound, my own (which makes me vastly unpopular) is that it is down to making a business decision in favour of oneself. However, getting a rent receiver is not a ‘fix’ and I think Bank of Ireland will …

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Why a borrower bailout is not likely

The EBS is on the block and there have been countless headlines regarding the idea that debts might get written down by Wilbur Ross if the Cardinal Capital group (who he is backing) are the successful bidder. I have said that I doubt this will happen and will set out why in this post.

EBS carried out a PCAR (prudential capital assessment requirement) test in March 2010, it showed that they required €875 million in funding to come up to scratch. Thus far they received €100m in cash from the state and a further €250m in a promissory note leaving a gap of €525m to fill. The bids being touted are in the region of €550m meaning that whoever buys in is effectively bridging the gap and paying a small premium as well.

Take a look at a balance sheet and you’ll see that no matter what happens, that in the end assets=liabilities. That is an accounting identity, in our example we have a hypothetical bank which has assets and liabilities worth (for example sake) €100 million Euro.

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The pincer of fixed rates while in negative equity

A recent article in the Independent stated that ‘fixed rate borrowers are taking all the pain’. The base rate has fallen from 4.25% to 1.25% with a further rate reduction expectation taking the EU to a base of 1%. What this means is that people who felt the drop off in base rates (tracker mortgage holders & most variable rate holders) are now better off to the tune of about €425 per month.

However, for those on fixed rates the story is the reverse of this, they have not felt any reduction in the amounts they are spending monthly while at the same time many have had to live on less due to wage cuts, levies, and job loss. The fees for ‘breaking’ a fixed rate are usually from 3 to 6 months of payments.

So what can you do? If you have the savings to pay for the move you can go that route, but if you have been …

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