Blow for first-time buyers as two major banks cut off mortgage exemptions

Blow for first-time buyers as two major banks cut off mortgage exemptions

Posted on 26May

Two major mortgage lenders have already reached the limit of how many exemptions to the Central Bank’s mortgage rules they are allowed to offer in a year.

Lenders are allowed to offer more than the strict rules of 3.5 times income and allow less than 20% in a proportion of their loans over a year. It means PTSB and KBC can no longer offer borrowers the mortgage exemptions that allow for loans over the threshold.  

Banks and other lenders have the freedom to lend a certain amount above these limits. In any one calendar year they can give an allowance of up to 5% of the value of mortgages to first-time buyers and up to 20% of the value of mortgages to second and subsequent buyers, and up to 10% of the value of mortgages to buy-to-let buyers.

Both lenders Permanent TSB and KBC, which recently announced it was leaving the Irish market, have used up the exemptions from the rule limiting the amount they can borrow relative to their incomes.

Many first-time buyers need an exemption to the loan-to-income rule, especially in cities where property prices are higher.

PTSB and KBC’s ending of exemptions comes as the Central Bank said it was holding ‘listening and engagement events’ next month as part of a review of the lending limits. The review will look at the effectiveness of rules and whether they have achieved their aims.

Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors chairman Trevor Grant said yesterday: ‘While this might seem like a blow to first-time buyers, we are advising people not to be disheartened; there are still a number of lenders offering exemptions, and this cycle will correct itself later in the year.

‘It does, however, highlight the importance of the mortgage application process itself and of ensuring that all the boxes are ticked when it comes to approaching a lender for approval.

‘When trying to secure a mortgage, it is imperative that applicants know exactly what lenders are looking for and how to present their particular case to them.’

Mortgage brokers have been flooded with calls from worried first-time mortgage applicants hoping to secure a home-loan.

Joey Sheahan, of MyMortgages.ie, said: ‘Our advice to all has been not to panic.

‘There are still four banks open to exemptions for first-time buyers – Haven, ICS, Finance Ireland, Ulster Bank – while PTSB has not closed off the option for second-plus-time-buyers. We are however, suggesting to those who are mortgage ready, not to delay.

The mortgage market is in a state of flux, as we have seen over the last few months with news of lenders leaving.

‘There has been good news too – most recently from Finance Ireland in relation to its longterm fixed rates.

‘All in all, there are still several banks very much open to new business, so those looking for a mortgage should continue as planned – a very many will be successful.

Source: evoke.ie/2021/05/26/evoke/blow-for-first-time-buyers-as-two-major-banks-cut-off-mortgage-exemptions


Making Cents: 20-year fixed rate ‘a big day for Irish mortgage market’

Posted on 18May

The maximum term of 20 years is twice as long as currently available to Irish mortgage customers.

While home-buying has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons of late, there has been some positive news for potential borrowers, with a number of new rates and long-term fixed rate options announced last week.

Finance Ireland – company which first entered the residential mortgage market in 2018 – launched a range of long dated fixed rate mortgages for owner occupiers.

The maximum term of 20 years is twice as long as currently available to Irish mortgage customers. It will mean that many home buyers may be able to have a fixed rate for the full term of their mortgage.

Finance Ireland CEO Billy Kane says the long dated fixed rates will allow customers to benefit from the ’historically low interest rates now available’.

“These fixed terms combined with flexible features provide exceptional certainty for customers and are a stated priority of the Government (ref: Programme for Government),” Mr Kane said.

Indeed the lender is partially backed by the Government, with the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) owning 30% of the business.

“We only distribute our mortgages through regulated intermediaries which ensures that all of our customers have advice about the suitability of any product to their specific needs,” Mr Kane added.

The fixed rate terms launched by Finance Ireland are for periods of 10, 15 and 20 years. The fixed rates range from 2.40% to 2.99% (annual percentage rate of charge (APRC): 2.58% – 3.06%) depending on Loan to Value (LTV) and the fixed term period. A 20 year fixed rate mortgage for up to 90% of the value of the home is priced at 2.99% (APRC: 3.06%).

Mortgage expert Martina Hennessy, Managing Director of doddl.ie, said the provider’s new offerings were structured to appease traditional concerns about long-term fixed rate products.

“In addressing four keys ways why long -term fixed rates may appear unattractive to Irish consumers, Finance Ireland is introducing a unique offering to the Irish market,” Ms Hennessy said.

The rate will reduce over time, you can overpay up to 10% of your outstanding balance without charges, the rate is portable and there is a capped break penalty.

“Their 15 and 20 year fixed rates are products that we see elsewhere in the eurozone, where rates are lower.

“Uniquely, with this fixed-rate product, if your loan to value drops then your rate will fall over time, assuming your value holds or increases.” The fixed rate will decrease as the loan is paid down versus the property value. Finance Ireland have also said LTV (loan-to-value) driven reductions to a customer’s fixed rate will be downward only – rates will never increase even were there to be a deterioration in house value versus loan outstanding.” Ms Hennesy also sees the extra repayment option and portability as key features.

“You can pay up to 10% of your outstanding mortgage balance in every year of your fixed-rate term, without early repayment charges,” she said. “Crucially, if you stay with Finance Ireland and you move house, you can transfer the rate on your current mortgage to your new home without incurring a penalty.

“They have also included a maximum early repayment charge which caps exposure to potential large break penalties.” Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit, MyMortgages.ie described the options as a ‘big day for the Irish mortgage market’.

“This news from Finance Ireland is really likely to shake things up – both in terms of how mortgage holders approach their choice of term and rates, and in the fact that if the demand for these products are strong, other lenders will make moves to bring similar offerings on stream – if they are not already in the process of doing so,” he said.

The Finance Ireland news was followed by an announcement from Avant Money, which launched Ireland’s lowest four and ten-year fixed rate mortgages and reduced rates on its existing seven-year fixed rate product. The new ten-year fixed rates will start from 2.1%, with four-year fixed rates starting from 1.95%. These rate reductions from Avant, which has caused a major stir since entering the Irish market last year, have been described by the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors as ‘very good news for mortgage customers’.

These announcements won’t solve the massive issues of cost and supply in the Irish housing market but it does mean more choice available to those in a position to take out a mortgage.

Source: https://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/healthandwellbeing/arid-40291547.html

 


Finance Ireland first to offer 20-year fixed rate mortgages

Posted on 13May

Rates range from 2.40% to 2.99% and will be available for up to 90% loan to value mortgages.

Non-bank lender Finance Ireland is launching a range of long-term fixed rate mortgages for home owners in Ireland, with options up to 20 years available.

The company, which entered the residential mortgage market in 2018, will also offer 10 and 15-year fixed rate mortgages, with rates ranging from 2.40 per cent to 2.99 per cent, depending on the loan to value and the period.

The maximum term of 20 years is twice as long as currently available to Irish mortgage customers. Even then, the 10 year fixed rates are typically offered on loans with a loan to value of typically around 60 per cent, although some will offer on as much as 80 per cent loan to value.

Finance Ireland’s new products are targeting owner-occupiers, rather than buy to let investors, and could appeal to customers finishing fixed rates with existing lenders, including Ulster Bank and KBC Ireland who are set to leave the Irish market. The company distributes its mortgages through brokers. The State’s Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) and US investment giant Pimco each hold 31 per cent stakes in the Billy Kane founded company.

The rates will be available for up to 90 per cent loan to value mortgages, and customers will be able to move their mortgages to new properties during the term without incurring penalties, Finance Ireland said.

The fixed rate can also be decreased as the loan is paid down versus the property value, and customers will be able to overpay up to 10 per cent of the outstanding mortgage balance as a lump sum in each year of the fixed term, should their financial circumstances allow.

Managing director Donal Doran said those details were essential to the product. “It’s very clear that you cannot put out a 20 year fixed rate without the flexibilities,” he said. “We’ve developed this based on feedback and what brokers believe their customers have been asking them.”

The loans will also allow for changes in personal circumstances, with the penalty for repaying the loan early capped at 5 per cent of the loan balance in the first five years of the loan term for 15 and 20 year loans, and 2.5 per cent for the following five years. In the final five years of the 20 year loans, no early redemption charge will apply.

‘Booster shot’

The move was welcomed by Brokers Ireland, who said it gives a “booster shot” to competition and brings security to Irish mortgage holders.

“We have always maintained that mortgages are long-term products for which lenders can readily source long-term funding. That makes them very secure – for consumers and for lenders,” said Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at Brokers Ireland. “That they are only now entering the Irish market indicates just how staid, unimaginative and above all non-consumer-friendly the Irish mortgage market has been. In fact 10 year mortgages have only been introduced in recent years.”

However, she noted the rates were still higher than in other European countries, where long-term fixed rates have been the norm for years.

The announcement was a “good news day for new and existing mortgage holders”, said chairperson of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors Trevor Grant.

The country had become “accustomed to accepting uncertainty around the cost of financing our home purchases”. “If a developer told us the price of a house could be €300,000 or maybe €350,000 or possibly even €400,000 and that they could only confirm the price after we bought the house, we’d run a mile, yet we seem to accept uncertainty when it comes to the cost of mortgages.”

Managing director of mortgage advice company doddl.ie, Martina Hennessy, said the news was “a boost to the broker market”. “Crucially, if you stay with Finance Ireland and you move house, you can transfer the rate on your current mortgage to your new home without incurring a penalty.”

The move is likely to put pressure on other lenders to see them follow suit, said

Joey Sheahan, head of credit at MyMortgages.ie.

“This news from Finance Ireland is really likely to shake things up – both in terms of how mortgage holders approach their choice of term and rates, and in the fact that if the demand for these products are strong, other lenders will make moves to bring similar offerings on stream.”

‘Significant innovation’

Mr Kane, chief executive of Finance Ireland, said, “I’ve been involved with the Irish mortgage market for over 30 years and I believe that this is one of the most significant innovations made here in that time,” said.

Finance Ireland entered the home loans market in late 2018 after it bought Pepper Money’s €200 million home loans portfolio and mortgages platform, with UK asset manager M&G Investments providing the funding.

It was forced to abandon plans for a €100 million-plus initial public offering in May 2020 as the rapid spread of Covid-19 globally threw equity markets into turmoil. Mr Kane, a former chief executive of Irish Permanent said last month it would look at floating on the stock market in the second half of next year at the earliest.

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/financial-services/finance-ireland-first-to-offer-20-year-fixed-rate-mortgages-1.4563959

 


New mortgage option set to shake up the market for homebuyers<!-- /*! This file is auto-generated */ !function(c,d){"use strict";var e=!1,n=!1;if(d.querySelector)if(c.addEventListener)e=!0;if(c.wp=c.wp||{},!c.wp.receiveEmbedMessage)if(c.wp.receiveEmbedMessage=function(e){var t=e.data;if(t)if(t.secret||t.message||t.value)if(!/[^a-zA-Z0-9]/.test(t.secret)){for(var r,a,i,s=d.querySelectorAll('iframe[data-secret="'+t.secret+'"]'),n=d.querySelectorAll('blockquote[data-secret="'+t.secret+'"]'),o=0;o<n.length;o++)n[o].style.display="none";for(o=0;o<s.length;o++)if(r=s[o],e.source===r.contentWindow){if(r.removeAttribute("style"),"height"===t.message){if(1e3<(i=parseInt(t.value,10)))i=1e3;else if(~~i<200)i=200;r.height=i}if("link"===t.message)if(a=d.createElement("a"),i=d.createElement("a"),a.href=r.getAttribute("src"),i.href=t.value,i.host===a.host)if(d.activeElement===r)c.top.location.href=t.value}}},e)c.addEventListener("message",c.wp.receiveEmbedMessage,!1),d.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded",t,!1),c.addEventListener("load",t,!1);function t(){if(!n){n=!0;for(var e,t,r=-1!==navigator.appVersion.indexOf("MSIE 10"),a=!!navigator.userAgent.match(/Trident.*rv:11\./),i=d.querySelectorAll("iframe.wp-embedded-content"),s=0;s
New mortgage option set to shake up the market for homebuyers

Posted on 11May

A new mortgage option is set to shake up the market here as it offers Ireland’s first 20-year fixed-rate mortgage, providing a massive boost for the struggling property market.

Finance Ireland is launching a range of competitive long-term fixed-rate loans with rates for a 20- year fixed term mortgage ranging from 2.4% to 2.99% for up to 90% loan-to-value mortgages.

And best of all, the non-bank lender is backed by taxpayer cash, as the State-owned Strategic Investment Fund has a 30% stake in Finance Ireland.

The welcome move will pile pressure on banks to offer more competitive mortgage rates, something that is seen as a major boost for homebuyers.

The new cut-price rates would see homeowner repayments of just €1,052 a month on a €270,000 30-year mortgage with the first 20 years fixed at 2.99%.

Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe was not involved in the decision to back the deal but a spokesman said yesterday: ‘The Department [of Finance] welcomes the announcement which provides a new product for customers and will help to drive competition in the mortgage market.’

It came as President Michael D. Higgins yesterday became the latest to comment on the country’s housing crisis, saying that ‘radical solutions’ are ‘urgently needed given the magnitude of a housing crisis that is not abating’.

Reports published this week highlight a chronic shortage of properties that have resulted in soaring house prices while rents continue to skyrocket.

The historical new low 20-year fixed-term home loan was hailed by housing campaigners last night as welcome news for families struggling to get on the property ladder, saying other banks are sure to follow suit.

David Hall, of the Irish Mortgage Holders Organisation, said: ‘It’s good news and gives some people certainty for 20 years.’

The announcement was a ‘good news day for new and existing mortgage holders’, Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors chairperson Trevor Grant said.

Currently, the longest fixed-rate mortgage available in the Irish market is seven years – with a handful of providers offering a ten-year term but capped at an LTV of 80%. The Finance Ireland fixed rates are available for up to 90% LTV mortgages.

Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at Brokers Ireland, said: ‘That they are only now entering the Irish market indicates just how staid, unimaginative and, above all, non-consumer-friendly the Irish mortgage market has been. In fact, ten-year mortgages have only been introduced in recent years.’

Joey Sheahan, head of credit at MyMortgages.ie, said: ‘This news from Finance Ireland is really likely to shake things up – both in terms of how mortgage-holders approach their choice of term and rates, and in the fact that if the demand for these products are strong, other lenders will make moves to bring similar offerings on stream.’

The new lender is offering European-style home loans fixed for 20 years from as low as 2.6%.

Its arrival is sure to be welcomed by borrowers after recent announcements by KBC and Ulster Bank that they are pulling out of the Irish banking market.

Finance Ireland chief Billy Kane said: ‘I’ve been involved with the Irish mortgage market for over 30 years and I believe that this is one of the most significant innovations made here in that time.

‘We’ve been working on the introduction of longer dated fixed-rates for some time now in order to allow customers benefit from the historically low interest rates now available. These fixed terms, combined with flexible features, provide exceptional certainty for customers and are a stated priority of the Government.

‘We only distribute our mortgages through regulated intermediaries which ensures that all of our customers have advice about the suitability of any product to their specific needs.’

A spokesman for the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) said: ‘All ISIF investments are made on a commercial basis, in line with its double bottom line mandate of generating a commercial return and supporting economic activity and employment in Ireland. The announcement of new mortgage products today is a result of a commercial decision by the management of Finance Ireland, in which ISIF holds a minority shareholding.’

The maximum term of 20 years is twice as long as currently on offer in the mortgage market and will mean some home-buyers may be able to have a fixed rate for the full term of their mortgage.

The fixed-rate terms launched yesterday are for periods of ten, 15 and 20 years.

The fixed rates range from 2.40% to 2.99% depending on loan-to-value and the fixed-term period.

A 20-year fixed-rate mortgage for up to 90% of the value of the home is priced at just 2.99%.

Customers can also move their mortgage to a new property during the term of the fixed rate without incurring any penalty, can pay back a lump sum of up to 10% of their outstanding balance, without penalty, in each year of the fixed term.

Trevor Grant, of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors, said: ‘Given the recent negative news regarding KBC and Ulster Bank, this is a good news day for new and existing mortgage-holders and for competition in the market.’

Source: https://extra.ie/2021/05/14/business/property/new-mortgage-option


KBC Mortgage Holders Trigger Surge in Mortgage Switching Enquiries

Posted on 19Apr

On Friday 16th April, it was announced the KBC were looking to sell their Irish business to Bank of Ireland. The understandable uncertainty has led to many of their mortgage holders looking at moving their mortgage to another lender for a greater sense of security. We have received an influx of calls from mortgage holders with KBC, asking whether or not they should be looking to move their mortgage to a different bank and what their options are.

This process will take some time to complete and KBC continues to have a duty of care to current customers and obligations to fulfil in that regard, so mortgage holders should not be worried or anxious.

That said, it would be prudent to look at this time as a chance to review your current position mortgage-wise – primarily what rate you are paying, and how this compares to what is currently being offered in the market. Although KBC’s departure from the Irish market is not a positive development in the Irish banking sector – particularly, from both a competition and an employment perspective, the uncertainty surrounding KBC’s future could at least turn out to be a beneficial wake up call to mortgage holders who are paying rates in excess of what they could get elsewhere. 

The arrival of Avant Money to the market has seen many mortgage holders with mature mortgages, and/or a strong loan to value, switch to exceptional market-beating rates.

We are advising any KBC customer that is on a rate greater than 2.3% to review their options. But this doesn’t apply to KBC mortgage holders alone – anyone paying more than this, regardless of which lender they are with, should be talking to an expert to see if they can get a better deal either with their current lender or with a different provider. And don’t let whether you are on a fixed or variable rate stop you – you may well still have options to move.

If you would like to complete an initial assessment to see what potential savings you could make by switching, click here for the form and we will review and respond to you directly. 

Should I switch?

Just like you shop around for cheaper or better car insurance or electricity provider, it’s worth reviewing your mortgage every few years to see if you can make savings. 

What is Switching?

Switching is the term used to describe the process of changing mortgage provider. This is usually done to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage from a new lender with a view to saving money on interest. 

Some people go through the entire term of their mortgage without considering whether their lender is offering them the best rate. However, it is prudent to review the terms of your mortgage on a regular basis – perhaps as part of a wider financial ‘health-check’. You don’t need to switch every year, but it’s a financially savvy move to take the time to consider the current market, the value of your property, and the interest rates on offer from all lenders on an ongoing basis.

My Neighbour is Doing it – Can I?

The answer is, most likely, yes. I estimate that one in every three mortgage holders would save by switching. (I am not including European Central Bank related tracker interest rates in these figures as they currently offer low interest rates given that the ECB base rate is 0%, meaning a typical tracker mortgage interest rate is approximately 1% and such mortgages have not been available in Ireland since 2008.)  

If you have been on the same rate for more than three years, or you are coming to the end of a fixed rate period, then you should certainly review your options. 

Regardless of whether you are a variable or a fixed rate mortgage holder, you could potentially save tens of thousands of euros over the remaining term. 

The Myths and Misconceptions

–       ‘I can’t switch if I’m on a fixed rate.’ Not true. You can break a fixed rate contract. We see many banks currently do not have a breakage fee however you may be charged a breakage fee by your lender, but the savings you make upon switching, plus, potentially, any cashback offer from a new lender, could more than cover the charges. In addition, due to the current low cost of funds available for banks, many don’t impose a fee for exiting a fixed rate contract. You will need to call your bank to check this, however.

Looking at Mick and Fiona for example, they have a home loan with €300,000 outstanding. They are currently on a fixed rate of 3.6% for the next two years with 28 years left on their mortgage term. They contact their bank to check the early fixed rate breakage fee and are advised that the fee is €1,050. They contact a mortgage broker who advises them that if they switch lender, they can obtain a two-year fixed rate of 2.3%, which will reduce their monthly payment from €1,418 to €1,211 which is a saving of €207 monthly or €2,484 annually or €4,968 over the two-year period. So, in this example, even though Mick and Fiona are liable to pay a breakage fee of €1,050, it is worthwhile as they will save €4,968 over the next two years alone.  

Mary & John  
Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Fixed 2 Yr interest rate 3.6%Fixed 2 Yr interest rate 2.3% 
Monthly repayment €1,418Monthly repayment €1,211 
 Total savings over term €4,968* 
*savings excluding breakage fee   

–       ‘I need to have a LTV of less than 80% on my home.’ Again, not true. While some lenders will offer you a better rate according to the amount of equity you have built up, you can still switch if your LTV is between 80% to 90%.

–       ‘Switching is a long and difficult process.’ Not true. Switching can be straightforward with the help of an expert and some banks require less documentation for switchers than for a new application.

–       ‘I’ll just end up spending any savings made on the legal costs of conveyancing’. (Conveyance is the legal term for processing the paperwork involved in buying and selling a property and transferring the deeds of ownership). Not true. You will know in advance, once you or your broker runs the numbers whether the savings made will outweigh any ancillary costs that may be incurred. If you stay with the same lender but move to a different rate, then you may not incur any additional costs.

Cash Back on Switching

The impact can be significant. If we look at Rua and Kerry’s experience, they took a €400,000 mortgage over 35 years at a three-year fixed interest rate of 3.6%. The interest rate they selected at the time of draw down was reasonably competitive and they also received upfront cashback from their lender. However, their rate is now changing to a higher variable rate of 4.2%. Their payments will be going to €1,805 monthly. They have tried to negotiate a lower variable rate with their current lender without success so they decided to switch to a lower variable rate of 2.95% with another lender which will reduce their monthly payments to €1,534. This will save them €268 monthly or €3,212 annually or €102,912 over the remaining 32 years of their mortgage. In addition, they receive €2,000 from the new lender, which covers the legal fees involved in switching.    

Ruth & Ken  
Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Fixed 3 Yr interest rate 3.6%Variable interest rate 2.95% 
Monthly repayment €1,802Monthly repayment €1,534 
 Total savings over term €102,912 

What Will I Need?

If you decide to proceed with switching, you will need to go through the mortgage application process and submit your documentation. This varies from lender to lender. Typically, you will require the following documents:

–       Passport Identification.

–       One recent payslip, Employment Detail Summary and salary certificate.

–       Three/six months recent current account statements – depends on lender requirement.

–       3 Most recent credit card statements. 

–       Most recent mortgage statement.

–       Relevant application form and bank declaration.

Where Do I Start?

–       Contact your existing lender to confirm your rate of interest, balance outstanding and term remaining on the mortgage. 

–       If you are on a fixed rate, ask your lender what fee, if any, they charge for breaking the mortgage contract.

–       Ask your current lender to review your interest rate and enquire about variable and fixed-rate options for an existing customer.  

–       Contact a mortgage broker and ask them to compare your existing mortgage terms to what’s on the market. (Technically, you can do this research yourself, but it will mean numerous calls to multiple lenders so in reality it’s probably not the easiest route for you to take.) The more equity you have in your home, the better the new terms you’ll be offered, but you can switch even if your loan is 90% of your value.

–       Your broker can check what incentives other lenders are offering to switchers. The ‘incentive’ usually covers the legal costs, as well as any possible breakage fee, although this would need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. 

–       Assess the best value option for you. A broker can run calculations on the interest rates you have been offered to see the potential savings you can make. This should not be a complex process. But there is market research to be done and there are lots of forms to be filled and boxes to be ticked. A broker will do all the legwork, calculations and communicate with lenders on your behalf and explain all of your options. 

–       You will need to decide whether to stick with your current lender or move to a different one. Moving to a different provider will mean going through the mortgage approval process again. Changing lenders can be relatively simple if you have expert help. 

–       Ultimately you need to ask yourself a question: why would I stick with a lender that is not giving me the best value?

Take your time, weigh up all your options and seek expert advice to help you decide if switching is the best course of action. 

How Much Can I Save?

Switching to a lower interest rate can save you a considerable amount of money in the long term depending on the rate and capital amount. 

Let me give you an example of savings on an interest rate reduction of 1.6%. By switching from a 4.2% rate to 2.6%, a mortgage holder with a loan of €350,000 over 30 years can save over €300 per month, €3,732 per year or €14,897 over 4 years. 

Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Variable interest rate 4.2%Variable interest rate 2.6% 
 Monthly repayment €1,712 Monthly repayment €1,401 
 Total savings over 4 years €14,897 

In summary, it costs mortgage holders absolutely nothing to explore what ‘switching’ their mortgage can yield them in interest savings. I have sought to challenge and address any lack of knowledge or awareness by outlining the process and the financial benefit to be gained from taking this step. 

People can often be put off by their first mortgage experience, which for many is stressful. However, the second time round should be a lot more straight-forward. Yes, of course there will be forms to fill, but the rewards for this bit of administration can be in the region of thousands and life changing as a result.


Ulster Bank Mortgage Holders Trigger Surge in Mortgage Switching Enquiries

Posted on 16Feb

On Friday 19th February, we received clarity on a firm decision that Ulster Bank will undertake a phased withdrawal from the Irish market. 

The understandable uncertainty has led to many of their mortgage holders looking at moving their mortgage to another lender for a greater sense of security. We have received an influx of calls from mortgage holders with Ulster Bank, asking whether or not they should be looking to move their mortgage to a different bank and what their options are.

This process will take a number of years to complete and Ulster Bank continues to have a duty of care to current customers and obligations to fulfil in that regard, so mortgage holders should not be worried or anxious.

That said, it would be prudent to look at this time as a chance to review your current position mortgage-wise – primarily what rate you are paying, and how this compares to what is currently being offered in the market. Although Ulster Bank’s departure from the Irish market is not a positive development in the Irish banking sector – particularly, from both a competition and an employment perspective, the uncertainty surrounding Ulster Bank’s future could at least turn out to be a beneficial wake up call to mortgage holders who are paying rates in excess of what they could get elsewhere. 

The arrival of Avant Money to the market, has seen many mortgage holders with mature mortgages, and/or a strong loan to value, switch to exceptional market-beating rates.

We are advising any Ulster Bank customer that is on a rate greater than 2.3% to review their options. But this doesn’t apply to Ulster Bank mortgage holders alone – anyone paying more than this, regardless of which lender they are with, should be talking to an expert to see if they can get a better deal either with their current lender or with a different provider. And don’t let whether you are on a fixed or variable rate stop you – you may well still have options to move.

If you would like to complete an initial assessment to see what potential savings you could make by switching, click here for the form and we will review and respond to you directly. 

Should I switch?

Just like you shop around for cheaper or better car insurance or electricity provider, it’s worth reviewing your mortgage every few years to see if you can make savings. 

What is Switching?

Switching is the term used to describe the process of changing mortgage provider. This is usually done to get a lower interest rate on your mortgage from a new lender with a view to saving money on interest. 

Some people go through the entire term of their mortgage without considering whether their lender is offering them the best rate. However, it is prudent to review the terms of your mortgage on a regular basis – perhaps as part of a wider financial ‘health-check’. You don’t need to switch every year, but it’s a financially savvy move to take the time to consider the current market, the value of your property, and the interest rates on offer from all lenders on an ongoing basis.

My Neighbour is Doing it – Can I?

The answer is, most likely, yes. I estimate that one in every three mortgage holders would save by switching. (I am not including European Central Bank related tracker interest rates in these figures as they currently offer low interest rates given that the ECB base rate is 0%, meaning a typical tracker mortgage interest rate is approximately 1% and such mortgages have not been available in Ireland since 2008.)  

If you have been on the same rate for more than three years, or you are coming to the end of a fixed rate period, then you should certainly review your options. 

Regardless of whether you are a variable or a fixed rate mortgage holder, you could potentially save tens of thousands of euros over the remaining term. 

The Myths and Misconceptions

–       ‘I can’t switch if I’m on a fixed rate.’ Not true. You can break a fixed rate contract. We see many banks currently do not have a breakage fee however you may be charged a breakage fee by your lender, but the savings you make upon switching, plus, potentially, any cashback offer from a new lender, could more than cover the charges. In addition, due to the current low cost of funds available for banks, many don’t impose a fee for exiting a fixed rate contract. You will need to call your bank to check this, however.

Looking at Mick and Fiona for example, they have a home loan with €300,000 outstanding. They are currently on a fixed rate of 3.6% for the next two years with 28 years left on their mortgage term. They contact their bank to check the early fixed rate breakage fee and are advised that the fee is €1,050. They contact a mortgage broker who advises them that if they switch lender, they can obtain a two-year fixed rate of 2.3%, which will reduce their monthly payment from €1,418 to €1,211 which is a saving of €207 monthly or €2,484 annually or €4,968 over the two-year period. So, in this example, even though Mick and Fiona are liable to pay a breakage fee of €1,050, it is worthwhile as they will save €4,968 over the next two years alone.  

Mick & Fiona  
Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Fixed 2 Yr interest rate 3.6%Fixed 2 Yr interest rate 2.3% 
Monthly repayment €1,418Monthly repayment €1,211 
 Total savings over term €4,968* 
*savings excluding breakage fee   

–       ‘I need to have a LTV of less than 80% on my home.’ Again, not true. While some lenders will offer you a better rate according to the amount of equity you have built up, you can still switch if your LTV is between 80% to 90%.

–       ‘Switching is a long and difficult process.’ Not true. Switching can be straightforward with the help of an expert and some banks require less documentation for switchers than for a new application.

–       ‘I’ll just end up spending any savings made on the legal costs of conveyancing’. (Conveyance is the legal term for processing the paperwork involved in buying and selling a property and transferring the deeds of ownership). Not true. You will know in advance, once you or your broker runs the numbers whether the savings made will outweigh any ancillary costs that may be incurred. If you stay with the same lender but move to a different rate, then you may not incur any additional costs.

Cash Back on Switching

The impact can be significant. If we look at Rua and Kerry’s experience, they took a €400,000 mortgage over 35 years at a three-year fixed interest rate of 3.6%. The interest rate they selected at the time of draw down was reasonably competitive and they also received upfront cashback from their lender. However, their rate is now changing to a higher variable rate of 4.2%. Their payments will be going to €1,805 monthly. They have tried to negotiate a lower variable rate with their current lender without success so they decided to switch to a lower variable rate of 2.95% with another lender which will reduce their monthly payments to €1,534. This will save them €268 monthly or €3,212 annually or €102,912 over the remaining 32 years of their mortgage. In addition, they receive €2,000 from the new lender, which covers the legal fees involved in switching.    

Rua & Kerry  
Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Fixed 3 Yr interest rate 3.6%Variable interest rate 2.95% 
Monthly repayment €1,802Monthly repayment €1,534 
 Total savings over term €102,912 

What Will I Need?

If you decide to proceed with switching, you will need to go through the mortgage application process and submit your documentation. This varies from lender to lender. Typically, you will require the following documents:

–       Passport Identification.

–       One recent payslip, Employment Detail Summary and salary certificate.

–       Three/six months recent current account statements – depends on lender requirement.

–       3 Most recent credit card statements. 

–       Most recent mortgage statement.

–       Relevant application form and bank declaration.

Where Do I Start?

–       Contact your existing lender to confirm your rate of interest, balance outstanding and term remaining on the mortgage. 

–       If you are on a fixed rate, ask your lender what fee, if any, they charge for breaking the mortgage contract.

–       Ask your current lender to review your interest rate and enquire about variable and fixed-rate options for an existing customer.  

–       Contact a mortgage broker and ask them to compare your existing mortgage terms to what’s on the market. (Technically, you can do this research yourself, but it will mean numerous calls to multiple lenders so in reality it’s probably not the easiest route for you to take.) The more equity you have in your home, the better the new terms you’ll be offered, but you can switch even if your loan is 90% of your value.

–       Your broker can check what incentives other lenders are offering to switchers. The ‘incentive’ usually covers the legal costs, as well as any possible breakage fee, although this would need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. 

–       Assess the best value option for you. A broker can run calculations on the interest rates you have been offered to see the potential savings you can make. This should not be a complex process. But there is market research to be done and there are lots of forms to be filled and boxes to be ticked. A broker will do all the legwork, calculations and communicate with lenders on your behalf and explain all of your options. 

–       You will need to decide whether to stick with your current lender or move to a different one. Moving to a different provider will mean going through the mortgage approval process again. Changing lenders can be relatively simple if you have expert help. 

–       Ultimately you need to ask yourself a question: why would I stick with a lender that is not giving me the best value?

Take your time, weigh up all your options and seek expert advice to help you decide if switching is the best course of action. 

How Much Can I Save?

Switching to a lower interest rate can save you a considerable amount of money in the long term depending on the rate and capital amount. 

Let me give you an example of savings on an interest rate reduction of 1.6%. By switching from a 4.2% rate to 2.6%, a mortgage holder with a loan of €350,000 over 30 years can save over €300 per month, €3,732 per year or €14,897 over 4 years. 

Before SwitchAfter Switch 
Variable interest rate 4.2%Variable interest rate 2.6% 
 Monthly repayment €1,712 Monthly repayment €1,401 
 Total savings over 4 years €14,897 

In summary, it costs mortgage holders absolutely nothing to explore what ‘switching’ their mortgage can yield them in interest savings. I have sought to challenge and address any lack of knowledge or awareness by outlining the process and the financial benefit to be gained from taking this step. 

People can often be put off by their first mortgage experience, which for many is stressful. However, the second time round should be a lot more straight-forward. Yes, of course there will be forms to fill, but the rewards for this bit of administration can be in the region of thousands and life changing as a result.


Are you unable to Secure Mortgage Approval Due To Rising Prices in Dublin?

Posted on 27Jan

Are you unable to Secure Mortgage Approval Due To Rising Prices in Dublin?

A joint income of almost €100,000 is now needed just to buy the cheapest new apartment in the greater Dublin area.

MyMortgages has exemptions available on a case-by-case basis and are currently securing approval for many people in your situation.

If you would like to talk to Joey about your particular situation complete the form below:

What the media are saying….


Income of €100,000 needed for cheapest Dublin apartments

A joint income of almost €100,000 is now needed just to buy the cheapest new apartment in the greater Dublin area.

This is because it is not financially viable for developers to build apartments to sell to ordinary people.

They can only be built to sell if the apartments are constructed in more expensive areas where higher sales prices are achievable, a new report found.

Read more on this article in The Independent here.


Income of €100,000 needed for cheapest Dublin apartments

Posted on 27Jan

A joint income of almost €100,000 is now needed just to buy the cheapest new apartment in the greater Dublin area.

This is because it is not financially viable for developers to build apartments to sell to ordinary people.

They can only be built to sell if the apartments are constructed in more expensive areas where higher sales prices are achievable, a new report found.

It costs so much to build high-rise accommodation that 76pc of the units analysed were being funded and would be rented out by so-called cuckoo funds – where investors buy up an entire block of apartments directly from the developer before they hit the open market, pushing first time buyers out of the market.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland said that a first-time buying couple would require a deposit of €38,000 and a joint income of €98,000 to purchase the lowest-price apartment type.

Affordability remains a critical issue, the society said in an analysis of the cost of building apartments in the greater Dublin area.

The report found that the sales price of the two-bed apartments reviewed ranges from €375,000 for a low-rise, low spec unit in the suburbs, to €569,000 for a medium rise (nine to 15 storeys) high spec apartment in the city.

This means a first-time buyer couple would require a deposit ranging from €38,000 to €57,000, and a combined salary range of €96,000 to €146,000 to afford these, based on Central Bank lending rules.

A couple both earning €44,000 and with a combined salary of €88,000, and a deposit of €37,500, would not be able to meet the mortgage requirements of the lowest-priced apartment, a low-rise suburban unit priced at €375,000.

Just 20pc of all households enjoy earnings of more than €80,000, according to Central Statistics Office figures.

The total cost of developing medium-rise apartments now ranges from €411,000 to €581,000, including Vat.

In contrast, last July the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland found the cost of delivering a three-bedroom semi in the Dublin area was €371,000.

Apartment building is so expensive that cuckoo funds are funding their development and then renting them out. The investment funds have been perceived as pushing first-time buyers out of the market, but others maintain that even fewer apartments would be built without their funding.

The Society of Chartered Surveyors (SCSI) compared the viability of the traditional apartments that are built to sell with the build-to-rent model involving investment funds.

There are fewer restrictions on build-to-rent schemes relating to the apartment mix, car parking and size, following changes by the Department of Housing in 2016 and updated in 2018.

SCSI chair Paul Mitchell said pension funds and other investment funds which bought these schemes had made a major contribution to apartment supply.

He said it is so expensive to build high rise that only funds could make their development viable because they can take a long-term view of the asset.

He said it was so expensive to build apartments that “76pc of the units analysed are for rental rather than sale”.

Source: https://www.independent.ie/business/personal-finance/property-mortgages/income-of-100000-needed-for-cheapest-dublin-apartments-40010945.html

 


Irish Independent: ‘Covid-19 pandemic strangely ended up helping – there was none of the open viewing madness seen before’

Posted on 03Dec

How lockdown allowed some couples finally to buy their own homes

by Amy Molloy, Irish Independent

In a year marked with ups and downs, 2020 is ending on a good note for thousands of first-time buyers.

Ireland’s lockdown between March and June afforded some house-hunters an opportunity to save money, plan and prioritise.

With mortgage experts forecasting the first quarter of 2021 to be “the busiest in recent history”, the Irish Independent spoke to first-time buyers who recently got the seal of approval.

Mortgage experts believe there will be a surge in activity next year, driven mainly by first time buyers.

Vaccine confidence and a growth in savings will also be a factor says Joey Sheahan head of credit at MyMortgages.ie. Mr Sheahan said there had been a 106% growth in first time buyers applying for a mortgage in 2020.

Mr Sheahan also predicts lending exemptions will take centre stage from early in the year, with first time buyers in grappling for some sought after exemptions.

Read the full article here – https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/covid-19-pandemic-strangely-ended-up-helping-there-was-none-of-the-open-viewing-madness-seen-before-39820084.html

8 lenders are now offering exemptions. Apply below to see if you can get an exemption.

https://mymortgages.ie/apply-now/


With new arrival offering mortgages below 2%, get ready for a price war

Posted on 17Sep

Get ready for a mortgage price war. Avant Money has just arrived in the market, offering fixed rate deals below 2% for the first time.

The company has been operating here for a number of years, providing credit cards and personal loans under the Avant Card brand. Owned by Spanish bank Bankinter, Avant Money will now offer fixed-rate mortgages starting at 1.95%, with variable rates starting at 2.5%.

Last week, the Central Bank released July mortgage data which showed that the average interest rate on new mortgages stood at 2.82%. Only Latvia and Greece have higher mortgage rates, while the average rate in the Euro area stands at only 1.35%.

Joey Sheahan is head of credit at MyMortgages.ie and is the author of The Mortgage Coach. He says that the arrival of Avant Money is great news.

“We have long seen European rates well below 2% compared to closer to 3% for Irish mortgage holders, and now, for the first time since before 2008, rates below 2% are available to homeowners in Ireland. It’s a once in a decade, maybe even two-decade opportunity, where a new lender enters the Irish market and reduces interest rates to this extent.”

The company will not be dealing directly with customers but will be using the broker network to sell their products.

Daragh Cassidy of independent price comparison and switching site Bonkers.ie, is also positive about the arrival of sub-2% rates. He points out, however, that not everybody will be able to avail of them.

“While the headline rate of 1.95% from Avant Money is certainly eye-catching and will capture all the headlines, it requires a deposit of at least 40%, which will be vastly unachievable for most first-time buyers. Most first-time buyers are only able to save a deposit of 10% or 20% max.”

“The lowest rate available to buyers with a deposit of this size from Avant Money is 2.35%, which isn’t far off the rates already available at the moment.”

He points out that first-time buyers can currently get a two-year fixed rate of 2.30% from both KBC and Ulster Bank, while KBC also offers a 2.35% fixed rate over three years.

Moreover, Avant Money has also decided against the kind of cashback offer that has proved very popular in the Irish market. The aforementioned Ulster Bank will pay €1,500 cashback on mortgage drawdowns, while KBC offers €1,500 on its three, five, and 10-year rates. So from that point of view, Avant Money isn’t offering much better value here.

“And while cashback has proven to be controversial,” says Mr Cassidy, “it can’t be denied that it’s been extremely popular with first-time buyers in Ireland who might use the funds to help pay back the ‘bank of mum and dad’ once they’ve gotten their mortgage, or to help towards buying things like furniture once they’ve moved into their new home.”

He’s also disappointed that Avant Money is only offering a fixed rate of up to seven years. Fixed rates of up to 10 years are now on offer here, while on the continent, it’s possible to fix for 20 years. More competition in this space would have been welcome.

AIB has announced cuts of up to 0.2% on its fixed-rate mortgages.
 
AIB has announced cuts of up to 0.2% on its fixed-rate mortgages.

That said, we’ve already seen the established mortgage providers reacting positively to the arrival of a new competitor. AIB has just announced cuts of up to 0.2% on all its fixed-rate mortgages and Haven, which is part of AIB group, has also upped its game. The mortgage intermediary is now offering new home buyers €5,000 cashback on fixed-rate mortgages of €300,000 or more that drawdown between 21 September, 2020, and 31 December, 2021.

The rest of the banks are sure to follow suit.

The Avant Money offering may be particularly attractive to switchers, particularly those who bought their property between five and 10 years ago. They will likely have sufficient equity in the house to allow them to avail of the sub 2% rate. Because Avant has eschewed the cashback offer, however, switchers need to be aware that there will be no contribution to the legal bills typically associated with a switch. These can run to between €1,000 and €1,500.

Joey Sheahan of MyMortgages, which is one of the brokers Avant Money will be working with, advises everyone to review their current rate.

“A mortgage holder with €300,000 outstanding with 32 years remaining and loan to value of below 60% can save €158 monthly or €60,000 over the term of the mortgage based on reducing the interest rate from 2.95% to 1.95%,” he said.

Trevor Grant of the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisers also urges mortgage holders to take a fresh look at the market. “Our members regularly meet consumers who are paying between €200 and €300 a month more than they need to, which is not an effective use of their hard-earned money,” he said. “With so many offers out there, many if not most homeowners could now secure a better deal for themselves if they shopped the market.”

He said the recent release of the CSO’s property price index for July shows that there’s been no collapse in prices as a result of the Covid-induced economic contraction. In the year to July, residential property prices fell by 0.5%.

“There is still a cohort of potential homeowners that have remained fully employed throughout Covid, who are actively looking for a home, and who are successfully applying for and securing mortgages. A significant number of first-time buyers, particularly in Dublin, traditionally come from those sectors — digital, IT, financial, and public sector — that have proved resilient during Covid-19 and the prospect of buying a new home is still as real for them as it ever was.”

“The volume of applications received from first-time buyers and movers by our members, particularly over the past three months, has demonstrated a strong level of demand. As reflected in recent industry figures, there is an increased demand for market-based mortgage advice from mortgage seekers.”

But while prices are holding up, and while some of us are protected from the recession, there’s no denying the impact of Covid-19 on the mortgage market. The Central Bank’s July statistics, released last week, show that €445m was agreed in new fixed-rate mortgages in the month, a decrease of 31% on July 2019. New variable rate mortgage agreements fell even further — by 46% year-on-year — to €111m.

Read the full article here – https://www.irishexaminer.com/business/economy/arid-40050572.html


MyMortgages.ie is a Proud Partner of Avant Money

Posted on 14Sep

Avant Money (formerly known as Avantcard) launched today and confirmed its new mortgage products are now available to Irish customers, with fixed rate mortgages starting from 1.95%, by far the lowest rate in the market today.

The company has been providing credit cards and personal loans to Irish consumers for over twenty years. Avant Money is owned by Spanish banking group Bankinter, which also has operations in Portugal and Luxembourg.

We, at MyMortgages.ie, are proud to announce that we are one of Avant Money’s partners and we are here to guide and advise switchers, movers and first-time buyers on the range of these new products.

Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit, MyMortgages.ie and author of The Mortgage Coach says:

Avant Money’s entry into the Irish market is the best news for Irish mortgage holders. We have long seen European rates well below 2% compared to closer to 3% for Irish mortgage holders, and now, for the first time since before 2008, rates below 2% are available to homeowners in Ireland. It’s a once in a decade or maybe even 2 decade opportunity where a new lender enters the Irish market and reduces interest rates to this extent. We are delighted to be one of Avant Money’s partners and our advice to mortgage holders is now is the time to review their current mortgage, even if they have done so recently. A mortgage holder with €300,000 outstanding with 32 years remaining and Loan to Value of below 60% can save €158 monthly or €60,000 over the term of mortgage based on reducing interest rate from 2.95% to 1.95%”.

If you would like to talk to Joey about your particular situation complete the form below:


Westmeath Independent: “Government urged to extend Help to Buy scheme”

Posted on 29Jul

27/07/19

Read More


Back to Top