Office Occupancy Cost Seeing a Shift

Rental space is on the rise in the Irish market, though typically assumed strictly to act as homes, there is new research pointing our direction to the office rental markets.

With the latest bi-monthly report recently released by commercial property specialists CBRE, numerous important transactions in multiple sectors of the Ireland commercial property market have been reported.

The report is mostly noted for the strong take-up recorded in the Dublin office market during the beginning of 2018. Dublin is currently ranked 27th for global office occupancy costs, compared to the 29th place they held in the year previous.

This shift to fulfill more and more office space within the city is most likely due to the ease of doing business within the city limits.

By maintaining such a central location, it is made possible for businesses to thrive. Businesses often depend on the resources a city offers, as well as the booming customer base. In the nation of Ireland, Dublin really is the best place for this.

With office rents in the suburbs seen to be at levels currently less …

Read More

Are 100% mortgages the problem? Is LTV a symptom or a cause?

An article in the Independent yesterday pointed toward 100% mortgages being a significant attributer to the bubble, I would wager it was a symptom rather than a cause, the IBA meanwhile has called for all mortgages to be made on a non-recourse basis.

The good thing is that people and organisations are trying to find a way to avoid a repeat of the property bubble, and they are not one off events as the UK can testify.  There are however, significant factors contributing to what happened.

1: lenders didn’t price risk, they didn’t even ‘price at all’: Banks have utterly failed to do the job they were designed to do, namely that of profitable intermediation, we had huge amounts of competition on lending, that drove down criteria requirements and also compressed margins, then along came trackers, these had low margin price promises – Bank of Scotland brought them into Ireland and have since left. I spoke with a Bank exec. yesterday and he …

Read More

Mortgage Question: I have no savings, can I borrow a deposit?

The majority of lenders now insist that your deposit comes from a non borrowed source, and will decline your application if you plan to borrow it. The lenders who will consider your application will assess your application with the new deposit loan as a financial commitment which decreases the amount you can borrow on the mortgage, and because it is a short term loan it will eat into borrowing capacity much more than you may expect.

[eg: €100,000 loan over 30yrs costs c. €420 before tax relief, but one tenth of that, €10,000 at personal loan rates over 3yrs will cost c.€313 per month which would reduce the amount you can borrow by approximately €80,000!]

Short answer: You should aim to have your own equity in the deal via savings, if you borrow a deposit then you are running an additional risk and our firm are of the belief that this is generally not in the best interest of the borrower.

Read More

The US obsession with home ownership

This is an interesting clip from the Cato Institute and it covers the various vectors of the financial crisis. In this video the speaker talks about the ‘7 steps to failure’ – the basis of the talk is well covered ground at this stage but the addition of the Cato presentation is meaningful and offers some angles that are not commonly considered.

Johan Norberg is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and a writer who focuses on globalization, entrepreneurship, and individual liberty.

Read More

The Financial Regulator Report

In Ireland each staff member of the regulator costs 23% more than the international average, their cost to the taxpayer is 88% greater and yet they have responsibility – as a ratio toward population- which is only half that of other countries (to be exact its 96% less).

If that isn’t enough, our regulators deal with 15% fewer firms in terms of the number of actual regulated firms per employee, yet it is 26% more expensive to regulate a company in Ireland than elsewhere, and in terms of regulator staff to financial services staff they are dealing with 17% less than in other countries.

We are overpaying for under-service, in fact, in only one other country does the tax payer foot more of the cost of the bill than in Ireland, and for that we get the statistics above based on the figures below. Angry? You should be.

(the breakdown)

Cost per employee: In Ireland it is c. 23% more expensive for every staff member of our regulator than the international average

Cost …

Read More

Fast Track Repossessions, what does it mean?

There has been an interesting development in the area of repossessions in recent weeks in which a property can be taken back (repossessed) without a full court procedure having taken place. Today we will consider how this will work.

First of all, there are several things which tie in together in 2009 and they form part of reason behind the new ruling. The use of circuit courts to repossess a home used to be commonplace because the decision was set in a court depending on the ‘rateable value’, but the domestic rates system was discontinued in 1978, thus, the hearings started to default into the higher echelons of judicial decision making and today the common court for repossession hearings is the High Court.

The new rule means that a Registrar will decide what is seen or not by the court and a side effect of this is that a house can be repossessed without actually going before a judge. It is important to note that a registrar is not merely a …

Read More

Rent to buy: The pitfalls in practice

Rent to buy is not a ‘new idea’, one of my mentors is a man who built over 10,000 homes in Dublin (he retired in the 70’s having started his business in the late 40’s), but in talking to him he spoke of almost exclusively selling houses in staged payments and renting them out to prospective buyers as a way of paying for the property.

The resurfacing of rent to buy is not evidence of the wheel being reinvented but purely of the prevailing economic environment, however, unlike the way it operated over thirty years ago, today renting to buy is having obligations stitched into the contract that may not be possible to meet in the future and therefore it leaves the renter/purchaser in some slight uncertainty.

One of the primary issues is that of ‘loan offers secured’. When you rent to buy you are essentially (in most cases) saying you will buy the property at a point in the future for the market value at the time of completion of …

Read More

Rent or Buy the 5 year outlook

Today we are going to look at a comparison of renting vs buying with a five year outlook given the current interest rates, the yield outlook and lastly the cost of renting.

The following figures factor in real life examples taken from existing lending rates/rental prices and the forward estimation on rates is taken from presumptions in the current yield curve (chart is below). The terms applied in each example are 30 years, and the purchase is assumed to be a couple buying together, we can examine the impact for a single person in a separate post.

If you were to take a price of €313,000 for a two bed property (current average taken as a mean of prices in todays daft report – this figure is the Dublin average price across all geographic areas, the figures can be determined for any county the same way) and do the following.

1. Compare the total cost of ownership (we are not factoring in house insurance, bin …

Read More

Rent, Dead money?

Is rent dead money? Are you throwing your money away? Should you rent or buy? This is a complex question but when you are trying to make up your mind keep some perspective.

Is rent dead money? Well, not really, you still have to live somewhere, people don’t say ‘why are you throwing your money away on food, or clothes to wear’. If a person asks you this ask them ‘Why throw away money on mortgage interest, property related taxes, management fees etc.’

As an investor there are one set of rules, as a homebuyer there are another, the same as the difference between a person who buys a car for personal transport or as an investment – when you buy for yourself you can get a functional car or a fancy one, equally there are standard and trophy home, a car as an investment is a trickier proposition.

The argument currently for a property purchase has more to do with credit pricing and the ability to afford to buy …

Read More

Rent to Buy, why?

I had dinner in early 2008 with a man who was a retired builder, he told me about the way he used to do business back in the 70’s, and he told me ‘you wait and watch! It’ll be happening that way again!’, he was right, although at the time I didn’t realise that.

He said that back in the 70’s when people came to see his houses they’d say ‘how much is it?’, and he might say ‘£12,000’ to which they invariably said ‘we can’t afford that!’, and his approach was this – ‘what can you afford?’. He would then negotiate a deal with the buyer based on renting out the property with a view to buying or letting them have the property and paying him directly without having to go down the route of standard mortgages etc. and it worked, he was successful through the 70’s and 80’s and he retired in the mid-90’s before (as he said) ‘the real fun began’.

The point about this is that being able to work …

Read More