14 Sep, 08
Altogether, 10,435 new buyers drew down mortgages in the first half of the year, compared with 15,802 between January 1 and June 30 last year — a drop of 5,367, or almost 30pc.
Pat Farrell, chief executive of the Irish Banking Federation which produced the figures, said many first-time buyers were getting loan approvals but were reluctant to buy while house prices were still falling.
The mortgage market is being hit collectively by negative consumer sentiment, an oversupply of properties and the uncertain economic outlook.
Most lenders have increased the rates they charge new borrowers by about 1.5pc, in a move that will add roughly €200 to monthly repayments on a €250,000 loan over 30 years.
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26 Aug, 08
This increase in the supply of rental properties has pushed rents downwards – falling 2.2% in the past three months.
While overall the cost of accommodation for students is falling this year, there are significant differences in rents across the country. Dublin-based students pay significantly more than those in college outside the capital – a student at DCU staying near the college will pay an average of €525 per month for a double room, while in Cork, UCC students will pay less than €400. In Limerick, UL students will pay on average €309 for a double room, while students at Trinity College will pay €649 for a double room in Dublin city centre.
Despite market conditions, Ronan Lyons, economist with Daft.ie, cautions students against waiting to late to pick their accommodation for the year. “While the number of rental properties available this year has doubled, demand is still strong. Students looking for good accommodation close to where they are studying need to act now as the best places will be taken quickly.”
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20 Aug, 08
Mortgage brokers are being investigated over allegations that some of them colluded with estate agents to inflate property prices and rip off homebuyers.
In an unprecedented move, the Financial Regulator is checking claims that brokers have illegally shared data about how much people could afford to pay.
The sweeping probe comes after persistent claims that brokers may have used housebuyers’ financial information to artificially inflate house prices by pushing buyers to the absolute limit of their spending power.
That has now come back to haunt the thousands who are suffering negative equity — where people end up owing more money on their property than it is worth.
The fear is that some people were forced to pay too much for their houses as estate agents and brokers illegally traded information on what people could afford.
Most brokers have legitimate referral agreements with estate agents, and there is no suggestion of any illegal collusion.
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3 Jul, 08
Yep yet another increase. The European Central Bank has raised its key lending rate by a quarter-point to 4.25%.
Banks and building societies are expected to pass the rate increase on to mortgage holders in the weeks ahead.
The increase was flagged by the President of the European Central Bank last month and comes after heightened concerns at the ECB about inflation in Europe.
The most recent estimate suggested that European inflation has reached 4% on average, which is the highest since the introduction of the Euro.
It is expected that mortgage repayments will rise by about €15 per month for every €100,000 borrowed over a 20-year period and €16 per month for a similar 30-year loan.
2 May, 08
Thousands of homeowners are paying massively over the odds for their mortgages because the banks have failed to tell them of better deals on offer.
In some instances, people with variable rate mortgages are paying as much as €3,000 a year extra on a €300,000 loan.
But they could slash their repayments by switching to the alternative and cheaper tracker mortgages where the banks have no scope for hiking up rates.
It emerged last night that the banks are raking in a massive €1bn windfall a year by not telling their customers of the cheaper options available.
The rip-off particularly affects loyal customers who have had their mortgages for years.
The banks have been steadily raising their variable rates to make up for losses incurred during the credit crunch.
Anything between half and three-quarters of existing mortgages are standard variable rate mortgages, making up a huge chunk of the €384bn Irish mortgage market.
Banks have blamed the credit crunch for forcing them to impose large increases in variable mortgage rates, even though these home loans have always been poor value compared with tracker mortgages.
But in the last few weeks the rates charged for standard variable mortgages have shot up by up to 0.60pc, with banks blaming the credit crunch that began at the end of last summer.
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14 Mar, 08
Softer house prices and rising rents saw improved rental income for new buy-to-let investments during the 12 months to the end of January.
The outlook also looks good. At the year end, rental yields rose above 4pc in a number of areas including south Dublin city, west Co Dublin and Limerick. The best yields of 4.3pc and 4.4pc were achieved for three- and four-bedr properties in south Dublin city.
In west Dublin, the three main dwelling types, one-, two- and three-bed units achieved 4.1pc plus.
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9 Mar, 08
Inflation is too high for the European Central Bank to consider cutting interest rates yet, its president Jean-Claude Trichet signalled yesterday.
Borrowers are likely to have to wait until the summer, or even autumn, before they see the cost of their mortgages and other debts comes down, economists said. One believes there may be no cuts at all.
Analysts were surprised at the tough tone of Mr Trichet’s comments. The euro hit new record highs against the dollar as it became clear the 1pc gap between interest rates on each side of the Atlantic is likely to widen. The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has slashed interest rates to 3pc and is expected to cut them to 2.5pc later this month.
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