Mortgage interest relief set to end, but is it worth it?

Mortgage interest relief ‘tax relief at source’ or just ‘trs’ is a credit available to first time buyers who purchase their first home prior to the end of 2012. Currently it is due to be discontinued from 2013.

At the moment it is applied as follows:  up to a maximum of €10,000 interest per buyer can be applied so you take your total interest paid for the year and add it up.

Say you buy for 200,000 with a 10% deposit and an interest rate of 4.5% the cost per year is €1000pm over 25yrs. The interest portion is as follows:

(200,000 * .9 [90% mortgage) * 4.5% = 180,000 * 4.5% = approximately €8,100 a year will be treated for TRS reasons which is 25% for the first two years reducing to 22.5% for the next three years and 20% after that.

The 8,100 gets 25% relief = €2,025 or about €169 a month. In the example above when you get this credit it will mean that your ‘cost’ is €1,000 – €169 or €831 per month.

Because the …

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To buy or not to buy…

We are constantly asked ‘is now a good time to buy’ and the answer as always is ‘that depends’. It depends on what you are hoping for, if you want to invest in an asset that will never lose value then no, it’s a terrible time to buy a house. If you want to buy a home because you are at a point in your life where that is what you want to do then it’s a decent time.

We were telling people from 07′ until this year to stay away from property, and now we believe that the time has come where you can make decisions rationally. It doesn’t sway it either way but you can at least get a good idea of some of the pros and cons involved.

Firstly, there is the property price register, there are issues with it – we have pointed this out before. While knowing what something sold for in the past gives no indication of the future selling price (and property is particularly heterogeneous) it …

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RTE Primetime, 5th April 2011 on Housing

Primetime RTE, 5th April 2011- on Tax Relief for Mortgages from Irish Mortgage Brokers on Vimeo.

We were delighted to take part in the studio portion of Primetime on Tuesday the 5th of April, covering housing and the problems of the indebted, the package beforehand was presented by Donogh Diamond while Richard Crowley was in charge of the studio section. The guests were Brian Hayes (FG), Michael McGrath (FF) and Karl Deeter of our own firm.

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Sunday Business Post: More haste less speed in the mortgage crisis

Angela Keegan of MyHome.ie wrote an opinion piece in the Sunday Business Post yesterday which included some of our firms commentary:

Figures compiled by Karl Deeter at Irish Mortgage Brokers showed that the size of the average first-time buyer mortgage peaked in the first quarter of 2008, at €251,000.

At the moment, the average drawdown is €188,000. According to Deeter, the ‘average mortgage’ from 2008 on a 2.1 per cent tracker costs €1,076 per month. Current TRS is €80 per month, so the net cost is €996.With the new, bigger TRS in the Programme for Government, the TRS will now be €119, resulting in a monthly payment of €957, an extra saving of €39 per month.

Compare that to the new first-time buyers, who will miss out on TRS. If they take out a loan for €188,000 at 4.3 per cent variable, their cost per month is €1,023.With rates likely to push up over 5 per cent, irrespective of the ECB, Deeter believes that, by this time next year, the divergence between the two mortgages could be as much as …

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The first time buyer conundrum, to buy or not to buy?

At the moment in Ireland there is a conundrum for first time buyers: should you buy now and potentially over-pay on purpose?

It’s an unusual one and it partly related to property prices, it is a combination of taxation changes that will occur from the start of 2012 and expectations of interest rate changes from both banks and the ECB.

The argument of ‘rent or buy‘ is well established, we produced report on it with Peter Stafford (now of the IAVI/SCS) and Frank Quinn of Senior College Dun Laoghaire, but this is different – buy now or buy later isn’t taking the default of renting as an assumed continuous option, rather it is a case of delaying for the sake of market timing.

The changes in tax are on the tax expenditure side, namely TRS (tax relief at source).

Currently it is applicable to a maximum of €10,000 p.a. and the rates applicable are …

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Tax liabilities on negative cashflows? The perils of renting out your home

There is an interesting situation that we are seeing much more of lately, where people in negative equity or negligible equity are deciding that because they cannot now move up the ladder (which was the point in their initial purchase – as a stepping stone to trading up), they will instead rent out their home and then rent a house in the area they actually want to live.

While this is a working solution to a person in negative equity seeking mobility it can result in a tax liability that many people are not aware of, this is how it occurs, the portion of mortgage payment that goes against the capital is actually taxable, and if it is paid to the bank it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay tax on it.

The finance act in 2009 brought about a change whereby only 75% of mortgage interest can be offset against Case 5 rental income as an expense, and this further exacerbates the situation even for those who have interest only loans!

However, we’ll demonstrate the position a person …

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Bank margins after NAMA

The current debate is raging over NAMA and the pricing of loans, much of it centres on the value of the properties in question and about the way in which a ‘loan’ is valued (as opposed to the underlying asset). This makes for good headlines, but it doesn’t help the average person who is not shaping policy and who’s sole role in this mess will be to carry the can and pay their part in the tax pool which will ultimately fund the bailout.

However, you may be affected in other ways, and these are things which you have the choice of opting out of, namely that of the margin you are paying if you currently have any debt/credit outstanding.

Once NAMA comes in it will be extremely likely that banks increase their margins, it is important to consider the ‘why’ as much as the ‘when’ though so we’ll take a look at those.

Why?

PTsb lead the way on this, because they are not getting NAMA protection they have no need to worry …

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