Explainer: What is a lifetime loan and how do they work?
Many older people will consider themselves asset rich, cash poor.
This means most of their money is locked up in assets, like their home. Equity release products allow homeowners over the age of 60 to access some of that wealth locked up in their property.
“They can allow you to repay other debts, take a holiday, improve your lifestyle or even to give a gift to the kids to get them on the property ladder,” explained Mark Coan, CEO of MoneySherpa, a financial advisory firm. Like all financial products, equity release can bring benefits and risks – and if you are considering using it is very important to get good impartial advice before deciding and discuss it with those you trust.
What type of equity release products are available here?
There are two types of equity release products – lifetime loans and home reversion schemes.
A lifetime loan is a mortgage loan secured against your home. You can borrow between 15% and 40% of the value of your house, and use the money as you like. You don’t sell a share of your home and you can keep living in it.
On the other hand, a home reversion scheme is where you agree to sell a share of your home in return for a set price. Spry Finance is the only provider of lifetime loans here, while Home Plus is the sole provider of home reversion schemes.
How does a lifetime loan work?
A lifetime loan is designed to last for the rest of your life – hence the name.
It becomes repayable after you die, or if you sell your home or permanently stop living in it – this includes moving into long-term residential care. Unlike a standard loan, you don’t have to make regular repayments. But the interest is added to the loan balance every month – which means the balance on the loan will grow over time, as the unpaid interest is added to your loan and incurs compound interest. It is worth noting that the interest rate for lifetime loans is much higher than other loans. “It is expensive money,” said Michael Dowling, of Dowling Financial Services.
The current interest rate being offered by Spry Finance, the only lifetime loan provider in Ireland, is 6.45%. “In effect, the debt increases by 35% every five years,” he explained. In some cases, by the time the loan, along with the interest is paid off, there may be little or even nothing left to leave to your children – or whoever is due to inherit your home. However, John Moriarty, CEO of Spry Finance, said some people use the loans to give their sons and daughters money now, rather than when they die. “Parents want to see their children and their grandchildren enjoy that benefit while they are still alive,” he said. “So the idea of a living inheritance or assisting with a deposit for a home is a regular use of this product.”
Are there different types of lifetime loans?
There are two types of lifetime loans – a ‘rolled up’ lifetime loan and an ‘interest only’ lifetime loan.
The ‘rolled-up’ lifetime loan is the most common. This is where there are no regular repayments to be made but you are charged interest on the money borrowed. If you go for this option, the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) said to make sure you don’t borrow more than you need. “Because the loan balance will grow over time, the golden rule is that you should only borrow the amount required right now to meet your financial needs,” said Muriel Dolan, Deputy Director of Communications with the CCPC. “Otherwise, you will pay interest on money you don’t need,” she added.
With an “interest only” loan you repay the interest on your loan through regular repayments. This means the lump sum of money you owe will not grow once you make your monthly repayments.
“We are a provider of choice and control for the over 60s in relation to their finances,” said Mr Moriarty of Spry Finance. “They can choose to make repayments and many of our customers do that, so they can treat it like a standard mortgage or a standard loan in that you pay it back over time. “But the typical product itself doesn’t require regular monthly repayments to be made but the loan will grow over time,” he explained.
How much can I borrow?
The amount you can borrow will depend on your age and the value of your home.
The older you are, the more you can borrow. The entry age for lifetime loans at Spry Finance is 60 – so at 60 you can borrow a maximum of 15% of the value of your home. The amount you can borrow increases by 1% every year, up to 40%. For example, a 70 year old can borrow 25%, a 75 year old can borrow 30% and those aged 85 and over can borrow 40%. The house must have a minimum value of €250,000 in Dublin, or €175,000 outside of Dublin. Typically, the most Spry will lend is €500,000 and the minimum is €20,000.
What are the alternatives to lifetime loans?
Lifetime loans are not suitable for everyone.
Muriel Dolan, of the CCPC said it is important that you consider alternative options first before choosing this product. She said these include applying for a standard mortgage, down-sizing your home to a smaller property, renting a room in your home – perhaps through the ‘Rent a Room Scheme’, availing of pensions, investments or savings, or availing of financial support from family or friends. As mentioned earlier, home reversion is another equity release product you can consider.
What are the main benefits of lifetime loans?
Lifetime loans free up money for those aged 60 and over, who may find it difficult to secure other types of loans.
Spry Finance has written 400 loans here in Ireland worth €70 million since it relaunched back in January 2021. It said 25% used the money to enhance their lifestyle, to provide extra monthly income or to fund emergencies. Another quarter used the funds to carry out home improvements or to buy things for their home, while a further 25% paid off debts, such as their mortgage or credit cards. 10% said they gifted the money or gave it to their children as a living inheritance, while the remaining 15% used the funds for other purposes.
What are the main risks associated with lifetime loans?
The main risk is that the lifetime loan will reduce the value of what you leave to your family when you die.
“My advice is to talk to your family upfront about these trade offs,” said Mark Coan of MoneySherpa. “It often turns out your family would rather see you kick up your heels now than leave a big inheritance for them in the future,” he said. Although providers advise applicants to discuss taking out lifetime loans with their families upfront, it’s the individual’s choice and not everyone wants to share their decision with their family. “This can lead to some members of the family getting less than they expect when the value of their inheritance is calculated,” Mr Coan said. Mr Moriarty of Spry Finance said most of their customers decide to inform their family before taking out the loan. “We really strongly recommend that our customers talk to their families and their advisors,” he said. “We ask our customers if they have spoken with their children, and most of them tell us that they have – but we can’t insist on it. “I’m 60 next year, with adult children and I probably would tell them but I’d reserve the right to make my own financial decisions,” he added. During the application process, Mr Moriarty said they invite those taking out the loan to bring their children to a meeting with a Spry Finance consultant.
Could my house go into negative equity when my loan grows?
Make sure your loan has a “no negative equity” guarantee.
This is provided by Spry Finance, and means that the value of the loan that must be paid back can never exceed the value of the home. “If the loan grows and the value of the house stays stagnant such that the loan would be worth more than the value of the house – that is not their family’s problem,” Mr Moriarty said. “They can’t leave a debt behind them that isn’t secured on the house,” he said. Unlike a standard mortgage, Spry Finance doesn’t have recourse to any other assets in your estate. “It is purely on the value of the house that it is secured,” Mr Moriarty said.
Can you still avail of the Fair Deal scheme if you have a lifetime loan?
John Moriarty, CEO of Spry Finance said lifetime loans and the Fair Deal scheme can, and have operated side by side.
‘The Nursing Home Loan’, is part of the Government’s Fair Deal Scheme administered by the Health Service Executive (HSE). This loan applies where the person in nursing home care has assets including land and property. They can delay paying for their care until after they die, using these assets to secure the loan. “We do allow the HSE to put a second charge on the house to secure the nursing home loan which is part of the Fair Deal Scheme,” Mr Moriarty said. “For a single borrower, if they move to care our loan gets due for repayment and the house is sold and the funds are ring-fenced for Fair Deal purposes. “For joint borrowers, our loan doesn’t become repayable if one party goes into care and we allow the HSE to put a charge on the property,” he explained. If the two go into care, Mr Moriarty said the loan becomes due for repayment. “So our loan gets repaid typically from the sale of the house and because of recent changes in the Fair Deal scheme, those net sales proceeds get ring-fenced for Fair Deal purposes and then those proceeds are used for up to a maximum of three years in terms of contribution to their care,” he explained.
Who will a lifetime loan not work for?
If you have an adult child living with you, and want them to be able to continue living in the house after you die, a lifetime loan won’t work for you.
“It is not designed to be a multi-generational product,” Mr Moriarty said. “If their need and objective is to pass the house on in full, in terms of residency as well as value, well then this product isn’t suitable for them – unless the loan gets fully repaid,” he added.
Are lifetime loans popular in Ireland?
Before the financial crash, these products were quite popular.
Pre-2008, three providers were offering lifetime loans. But following the crash they all stopped accepting new applicants, as they weren’t able to source funds at a price where they could market the product to the target audience. “The banking crisis was a reset for credit products across the board including equity release products,” said Mr Coan of MoneySherpa. “Sweeping changes in regulation and lower property values led to providers hitting the pause button on equity release in Ireland after 2008,” he added. Some of the providers attracted negative press, which was impacting on their brand.
Why did these loans get a bad rep?
Lifetime loans got a bad reputation after the crash, but why?
“Very simple – people did not fully understand the product,” Mr Dowling of Dowling Financial Services said. Last January, Joe Duffy dedicated almost a week of his Liveline shows on RTÉ’s Radio 1 to the problems people encountered with lifetime loans. Mr Dowling said a significant cohort of those who complained about the products, were the sons and daughters of those who took out the loans. In some cases, the children weren’t told that their parents had taken out a lifetime loan, or they did not understand how it would impact their inheritance. “They were expecting a big inheritance, and then realised that it was eroded,” Mr Dowling said. Mr Coan of MoneySherpa said that while providers advise applicants to discuss taking out lifetime loans with their families upfront, it’s the individual’s choice and not everyone wants to share their decision with their family. “This can lead to some members of the family getting less than they expect when the value of their inheritance is calculated,” he explained.
So, should I take out a lifetime loan?
Before you make any decisions, Muriel Dolan of the CCPC said she would strongly recommend you seek advice.
“Taking out a lifetime loan is a big financial decision,” she said. “You should consider taking independent financial and legal advice before undertaking this loan.” When seeking financial advice, Ms Dolan said you should make sure that the advisor is regulated. You can check if an advisor is regulated by using the Central Bank’s Register.
Things worth noting
Rate hikes see new property buyers hit with extra €3,300 in repayments
A huge rise in mortgage rates in the past year has made it vastly more expensive for first-time buyers to purchase a new home. Repayments […]
Shift in sentiment on ECB rates, with cut on the cards in months ahead
Following the European Central Bank’s (ECB) interest rate hike in September, financial markets were still placing some weight on a scenario whereby there could be […]
Giving tax relief to tracker mortgage holders ‘daft and unfair’, say experts
The announcement of tax relief for tracker mortgage holders in the Budget has been described as “unfair”. Finance Minister Michael McGrath unveiled a tax relief […]
Borrowers hit with huge hike in interest rates charged on new local authority mortgages
There has been a huge increase in the interest rates charged on local authority mortgages. The fixed rates are rising by up to 0.65 percentage […]
What another interest rate hike this week will add to your mortgage repayments
All tracker mortgage holders will see their rates rise within one month which will bring the average tracker mortgage rate to 5.65% if a 0.25% […]
David McWilliams: Ireland’s ‘nepo-baby buyers’ are creating a two-tier housing system
Towards the end of 2022, the concept of the “nepo-baby” jumped from the internet world to the mainstream following a series of articles in the […]
Home Truths: Outrageous conveyancing delays are killing house sale deals, so where are the solutions coming from?
Increasing numbers of buyers are losing out on their dream homes; falling at the final hurdle in the sale because the legal process attached to […]
If you’re going to buy crypto, here’s some advice
Speculate only with what you can afford to lose, and don’t forget about tax if you do make money. They said it was a […]
Price of a house is up 25pc since coalition took office, property report shows
Young buyers are forced out of the market as IPAV calls for radical reform to ‘very sick’ and ‘disjointed’ housing system. The cost of […]
David McWilliams: Ireland’s banks are simply not lending
Banks are afraid to lend and parts of the economy are strapped for cash In any economy, the job of a banking system is […]
Irish savers should move cash as AIB and Bank of Ireland sit tight
It feels like the entire country went to bed one night in early August and set the alarm clock for 2008. The country’s banks found […]
Mortgage offers expiring because of legal delays, estate agents say
People are losing out on mortgage offers because of legal delays, estate agents say. A majority (84pc) of real estate agents surveyed by the Institute […]
David McWilliams: Irish banks are at it again, cheating savers out of their money
Our banks are the most rapacious in Europe when it comes to lending and borrowing. The solution is obvious. Fifteen years after being bailed out […]
Banks’ Profits Labeled ‘Obscene’
Banks’ profits are “obscene” and are being driven by higher interest rates that have not been passed on to customers with savings accounts, the chair […]
‘Gouging their customers’ – Profits at Irish banks are ‘obscene’, says chair of Dáil watchdog
Profits at Irish banks are ‘obscene’ and are being driven by higher interest rates that have not been passed on to customers with savings accounts, […]
Your personal finance questions – I have a good tracker mortgage but rate rises are hurting, so is it finally time to give it up?
Plus, retirement bonds, and the importance of a credit history. Q: I am on a good tracker mortgage. The rate is 0.5 percentage points […]
Mortgage costs mount for second hand buyers
The European Central Bank has raised interest rates eight times in the last year with its base lending rate now at 4%, with a further […]
AIB is accused of discriminating against buyers of second-hand homes
AIB has been accused of discriminating against buyers of second-hand homes. It comes after the banking group increased its fixed and variable rates for AIB, […]
Fixed rate mortgage households face €3,540 hike in annual repayments
European Central Bank head Christine Lagarde has set the scene for a further rate hike. European Central Bank (ECB) head Christine Lagarde has set […]
Ombudsman rejects couple’s ‘reckless lending’ claim on €2.4m loan used to buy seven properties
Couple, one of whom was a bank employee, had a combined salary of €100,000 when they took out loan during Celtic Tiger A couple who […]
Irish mortgage arrears will ‘inevitably’ rise as ECB pledges more interest rate hikes
Core price pressures moderated by less, meaning there is probably still at least one more hike to come to ensure the 2% inflation target is […]
Irish borrowers warm to green mortgage rates — but is it worth it?
A home as cold as Charlie Chaplin’s cabin in The Gold Rush could be eligible for a loan to boost its building energy rating. […]
Mortgage rates set for another summer of rises, experts warn
The European Central Bank is likely to increase its key lending rates two more times before the end of the summer, according to experts. It […]
Irish banks accused of ‘window dressing’ over small increases in saving deposit rates
PTSB said it was increasing the rates it pays savers by 0.25% across the range of its deposit accounts, while Bank of Ireland earlier this […]
Why Irish homeowners are facing a mortgage timebomb
Interest rates are close to a hitting plateau, say finance experts, but successive rises have left households vulnerable. The end is in sight for […]
Credit unions take on banks with some of the lowest mortgage rates in the Irish market
Credit unions around the country have emerged as offering some of the cheapest mortgages. The member-owned lending institutions are ramping up their mortgage lending in […]
Think long and hard before surrendering your tracker mortgage rate
Your tracker margin, how long is left on the loan, whether it’s your home or an investment and your personal financial circumstances will all influence […]
We need a minimum of two more lenders in Ireland
A relaxation of mortgage rules will be countered by the increase in rates The new year will begin with good news for mortgage customers who […]
The experts’ view – what will happen to house prices, mortgage rates, health insurance and more in 2023
The year just gone will go down as a rough one for our wallets and purses. We were hit by extraordinary increases in the cost […]
What will happen to Ireland’s mortgage holders in 2023? Five experts on fixed and tracker mortgage outlook
Homeowners will have to absorb interest rises amid the cost of living squeeze, according to five experts Five of Ireland’s leading mortgage experts told The […]
Trackers on €300k mortgage face €7,000 payments pain
The warnings come after market participants said on Friday that the ECB could hike interest rates much higher than once thought. Tracker mortgage households could […]
Borrowers should prepare for a new cycle of mortgage hikes by the main banks
Banks are poised to embark on a cycle of fresh mortgage rate rises, borrowers have been warned. Bank of Ireland announced yesterday it was increasing its […]
Mortgage rates drop to lowest level in years – but warning variable rate customers now in ‘last-chance saloon’
MORTGAGE rates have fallen to their lowest level in years. This has prompted warnings to people on expensive variables to grab their last opportunity to […]
Irish homeowners need to act fast for decent fixed rate mortgage
Anyone attempting to weigh up their mortgage options lately would have been kept on their toes, with barely a week passing without a big change […]
ECB hikes could drive Irish mortgage rates to 5% by next summer
From this year, a household on a tracker mortgage of €300k could see its repayments rise by almost €450 a month. The European Central Bank […]
Mortgage delays: thousands risk being forced onto higher interest rates as banks too slow on switcher applications
Completing a move to another lender is now taking up to four months due to logjam as customers rush for alternative loans. Thousands of homeowners […]
Buyers struggle to get mortgages as rising prices limit loan offers
The surge in the cost of living is making it harder for prospective homebuyers to get approval for a mortgage. Would-be borrowers have less money […]
Consumer watchdog puts focus on hidden costs of cashback mortgages
Competition and Consumer Protection Commission addresses deals that cost first-time buyers large sums of money over the lifetime of their loans. The State’s competition watchdog […]
Financial pain for mortgage holders as ECB increases interest rates by 0.5%
The European Central Bank has raised interest rates by 0.5% to combat surging inflation, which is approximately 9% across the euro area. This is the […]
Michael Dowling: Irish banks to benefit from ECB rate hike
Irish mainstream banks will benefit more than their European counterparts by higher interest rates as net interest income accounts for 80% of Irish retail banks’ […]
Mortgage holders in rush to lock in fixed rates ahead of ECB increases
Large numbers of homeowners who are exposed to interest rate rises are rushing to lock in to good-value fixed rates, it has emerged. In a […]
Mortgage repayments could rise by €300 per month
Hundreds of thousands of mortgage holders could face a hike of up to €300 a month in their repayments as interest rates begin to rise […]
Mortgage borrowers should fix at truly long rates to beat ECB hikes
Most of us cannot hedge against rises in groceries, utilities, or fuel — but there is an opportunity to cushion ourselves against rising interest rates […]
Locking into fixed rate ahead of interest rate rises could save you tens of thousands
A first-time buyer (FTB) could save tens of thousands in the first ten years of their mortgage by locking into a fixed rate mortgage ahead […]
Mortgage rates in Ireland rise at highest amount in five years
MORTGAGE interest rates in Ireland have gone up by the largest amount in almost five years. This is despite the European Central Bank holding back […]
Fresh start – new proposals to treat divorced and separated couples as first-time buyers
Divorced people will get a second chance to be home owners after a relationship breakdown under measures designed to recognise how “Ireland has changed”. Housing […]
Why Ireland has limited fixed interest mortgage rates
This newspaper has flagged the strong likelihood of the European Central Bank (ECB) increasing interest rates by the fourth quarter of 2022 with more increases […]
Triple inflation shock as fuel and groceries surge in price — and home loans are set to follow suit
Consumers have been hit with three further cost hikes as petrol and diesel hit 30-year highs and grocery prices rose again, as well as the […]
‘Psychological shock’ for Irish mortgage holders as ECB tipped to hike rates
The potential for two interest rate increases this year will for the first time in a decade affect hundreds of thousands of Irish mortgage borrowers, […]
Hard-pressed homebuyers being charged €2,000 more than Eurozone average for mortgages
IRELAND is one of the most expensive countries in Europe for mortgages. Only Greece is dearer for new home loans in the countries that make […]
Q&A: Can I get a State-backed mortgage under the new rules?
Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien has announced a newly expanded local authority home loan scheme, increasing the eligibility of those who can apply. The new regulations […]
How to fix Ireland’s mortgage market
With mortgage completions to finish 2021 at €10.5bn and set to rise to €14bn in 2023 and €17bn in 2025, one could suggest there is […]
Parents gifting children €1bn from Bank of Mum and Dad fuelling house price rises
Parents are gifting their children an estimated €1bn a year from the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, dangerously fuelling house price inflation, a leading mortgage […]
Is the Bank of Mum & Dad still in line for a tax hit?
It’s a lender that’s been around for decades, giving low cost (mainly free) loans to its select customer base. Its financial firepower appears to have […]
Is it time for the Central Bank to change its rules so house hunters have a shot?
COULD A CHANGE TO RULES PUSH UP HOUSE PRICES? The Central Bank’s lending rules – which prevent first-time buyers from borrowing more than three-and-a-half times […]
Michael Dowling: Benefits of fixing your mortgage for the very long term
My advice for first-time buyers is to take out long-term fixed rates for 20 years or more. There is something of a revolution going on […]
Mark Keenan: Spare a thought this Father’s Day for the separated dads trapped in a soul-destroying housing limbo
A joke I’ve heard more than once from separated dads goes as follows: If two gay men get divorced in Ireland, who gets the house? […]
Spanish bank to shake up mortgage market here with 30-year fixed-rate loans
Spanish-owned mortgage provider Avant Money has upped the ante on its rivals by offering a range of new long-term fixed rates. The provider is the […]
The real problem is ministers don’t actually believe there is a housing crisis
If the Government can’t come up with a radical housing solution, the Coalition parties will find themselves redundant. It is telling that what lit a […]
Calls for cashback mortgages probe before State uses money to back Ulster Bank loans sale
The Government has placed its State-owned Permanent TSB as well as AIB, which owns the EBS mortgage lender, in the lead positions to buy large […]
Irish banking sinks deeper into crisis as KBC follows Ulster out the door
Commentators sound alarm bells as the ‘two big boys’ look set to control 70% of the Irish mortgage market The shock decision by KBC Bank, […]
Michael Dowling: Banks are misleading customers with costly cashback mortgage incentives
Irish mortgage interest rates have gone back to being the dearest in the eurozone and we need to focus on immediate changes that can be […]
Broker says lenders are using wage subsidy scheme to refuse mortgages
Lenders have been accused of using the State wage subsidy scheme to “blackball” mortgage applicants. It comes after it emerged that lenders are now turning […]
Calls for cashback mortgages probe before State uses money to back Ulster Bank loans sale
The Government will need to launch an investigation into “the exploitation” of first-time homebuyers lured by cashback incentives before it commits taxpayers’ money into State-owned […]
“We nearly lost dream home because bank got jitters over wage subsidy”
A leading bank was set to deny a couple a mortgage to buy their dream home, just as they were about to draw down the […]
Mortgage lenders push back against automatic payment breaks during lockdown
Mortgage lenders have pushed back against a call by a leading broker to re-introduce automatic payment breaks for people who will be unable to work […]
Demand for mortgage exemptions expected to surge this year
APPLICATIONS for mortgage exceptions are expected to surge to record levels in January as lenders respond to pent-up demand from borrowers. Exemptions to the strict […]
Controversial equity release loans for older people are back
An equity release provider is reopening in this market years after the banking crash closed off the availability of these loans. Equity release involves older […]
Experts cautious about 2021 property market
Property prices are predicted to take a minor dip in 2021 before recovering to current levels by the end of next year, according to two […]
Borrowers here paying €2,000 more a year than European counterparts
This was down 14 basis points on the same month last year. But the average across the euro area is less than half of this […]
Ulster Bank ‘self-inflicted review will mean Irish mortgages will remain costliest in Europe’
The uncertainty over the future of Ulster Bank is already helping the big two mortgage lenders, AIB and Bank of Ireland tighten further their grip […]
Home loan limbo – the growing number of buyers struggling to get their mortgages
Many housebuyers who’ve been directly or indirectly affected by the Covid crisis are experiencing issues with banks and accessing mortgages. Those who will struggle to […]
Average Irish person now ‘worth’ €166k
The impact of Covid-19 has been to make households wealthier while the State sunk €14bn deeper into debt, according to the Central Bank’s Quarterly Financial […]
Lenders told to be upfront with mortgage applicants on impact of wage supports
BANKS and other lenders have been told to be upfront with mortgage applicants whose employers are using the State wage subsidy scheme. It comes after […]
Mortgage holders leaving thousands of euro on the table by failing to switch home loan providers – CBI research
Some mortgages could save more than €1000 in the first year and more than €10,000 over the remaining term of the loan. Mortgage holders are […]
What the loss of Ulster Bank would mean for consumers
When news broke on Friday that NatWest, parent of Ulster Bank was considering the winding down of the Bank, the market was surprised. It had […]
Your money: Seven things you must know on the new mortgage playing field
Cheaper home loans will be up for grabs for house hunters and homeowners in the coming weeks and months following the entry of a new […]
Spanish giant to rattle the cages of big firms who have Irish market cornered
You would be forgiven for thinking that competition in the mortgage market had gone by the wayside, like many things during the pandemic. Banks are […]
Interest rate war brews as new bank joins market
A Spanish banking giant is to enter the Irish mortgage market in a move sure to put massive pressure on existing lenders to slash their […]
Banks block drawdowns until end of pay subsidy
Builders and brokers say hundreds of agreed home sales are being placed in jeopardy because of an unintended consequence of the State’s emergency wage subsidies. […]
Banks have yet to heal the €60bn bailout wounds of a decade ago
A decade after a €60bn taxpayer bailout of the country’s main banks, we still have a problem with trust when it comes to how they […]
Ireland faces second mortgage arrears crisis when payment breaks end this autumn, leading financial advisers warn
A leading debt adviser has warned that 30,000 households — or around half of the 62,480 currently on home loan payment breaks — will fail […]
House prices due to fall sharply in wake of pandemic
House prices are likely to fall sharply over the next year, a leading think tank has predicted. The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has […]
Central Bank boss defends banks withdrawing mortgage offers
Central Bank Governor Gabriel Makhlouf has defended banks that are withdrawing mortgage offers to people whose incomes are hit by the fall-out from the pandemic. […]
Irish Banks Again Europe’s Worst Performer as Crashes Add Up
Once again, Irish banks are at the sharp edge of a global crisis. In 2008, it was the melting away of liquidity. Just over a […]
Mortgage borrowers hit by Covid-19 jobs slump ‘facing problems securing mortgage breaks’
Mortgage borrowers previously in arrears but who are now up to date with their monthly payments have had difficulties in automatically accessing the three-month mortgage […]
Banks add Covid-19 income conditions to mortgage offers
Raft of assurances are sought over bonuses, overtime and future job security Several Irish banks and lenders are adding new conditions to mortgage loan offers, […]
Self-employed may feel chill from Covid-19 for some time
The self-employed face mortgage struggles. All business owners are weighing up the effect of the Covid-19 closures on their trade at present, with many trying […]
House valuations are being reduced by 10pc during the mortgage process due to Covid 19 according to brokers
Some bank valuations are lower than agreed sale prices due to Covid-19 “The valuations are coming in at less than what the agreed purchase prices […]
Home truths: Covid’s duration will determine its impact on values
Speculation about where house prices and the property market will end up in the aftermath of Covid-19 has already started, with the publication during the […]
Doubts raised over Covid-19 wage subsidy scheme after lawyers warn the initiative is unworkable
The crucial wage subsidy scheme aimed at keeping hundreds of thousands of people in jobs has been thrown into doubt after lawyers warned it was […]
Those who test positive likely to struggle to get life and mortgage protection cover
Concerns: Michael Dowling fears some people will be unable to take out life cover People who test positive for Covid-19 may struggle to get life […]
How to navigate the property market during the pandemic
These are testing times. Covid-19 has reached into every sector, including the property market, and everyone is scrambling to adapt to the challenge. For those […]
State may need to ramp up spending to €34bn
Employers’ group Ibec and trade unions have called on the Government to step up payments for workers and companies in response to the economic damage […]
No hit to credit record for those who get mortgage break off bank
A deal is being hammered out between the Central Bank and main lenders so people who avail of a Covid-19 mortgage payment break will not […]
Temporary ban on all evictions is to be introduced for duration of coronavirus crisis
The Government has confirmed that a temporary ban on evictions and rent increases will be introduced for the duration of the Coronavirus crisis. Housing Minister […]
€32m debts written off by court in three days
More than €32m in personal debt has been written off this week under insolvency arrangements approved by the High Court. The huge sum relates to […]
€2m debt write-off for publican approved
The High Court has rejected objections raised by a vulture fund to a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) writing off €2m in debts owed by a […]
Chasm between values of new and second-hand houses
A growing chasm between the values of new and second hand homes has been highlighted by the banking sector which says loans issued to first-time […]
Dublin’s cool Northside moves ahead of stuffy Southside to hold the housing hotspots
Q Two northsiders are travelling in a car. The music is turned off and the windows are up. Who’s driving? A: The Garda. Q: How […]
AIB drops fee for mortgage customers breaking out of fixed rate
AIB is allowing some customers to break out of fixed mortgages and lock into lower ones at no cost, in a move that is likely […]
Ulster Bank fined €4.6m over data on mortgages
ULSTER Bank has been fined €4.6m by the Central Bank for failings around mortgage data it supplied to the regulator. The fine would have been […]
Pressure now on more banks to cut their rates in mortgage price war
More banks are coming under pressure to reduce their mortgage rates after market leader AIB announced a number of reductions. The focus is now on […]
Mortgage holders here still paying double Euro average
MORTGAGE rates in this country have fallen below 3pc for the first time in years. But there is scope for much deeper cuts, mortgage experts […]
Revolution in fintech keeps the bankers awake at night
Shake-up: Revolut and other fintech firms are forcing banks to increase their tech focus I was more than a little surprised at the response I […]
AIB was always going to lose battle – it’s just a pity it waited so long to concede
AIB was always on to a loser trying to defend its actions in denying 6,000 customers tracker mortgages. The bank tripped itself up and was […]
The changes still needed to tackle the banks’ bad management cultures
Regulation: Unlike the UK authority, the Central Bank of Ireland does not have competitional law enforcement powers, an issue which deserves to be reconsidered Banking […]
Paul Joyce: Mortgage arrears have been ignored but not solved
Housing, homelessness, and healthcare have justifiably dominated the election so far. But one aspect of the housing crisis, however, that has received little attention is […]
Home truths: The story of Eoghan and the home hoovers
The big view on Ireland’s property market Whenever Eoghan Murphy is asked about his unforgettable term as Minister for Housing, one of the first things […]
Typical household wealth has risen to €184,900 – but renters are losing out
The wealth of households has shot up due to rising property values. But renters have very little wealth, according to figures from the Central Statistics […]
Most people unaware about credit card interest rate they are charged
The majority of Irish credit card users are unaware of the interest rate they pay, or how it is applied. And even those who say […]
Fianna Fáil may have just pressed the pause button on the property market
The party’s new SSIA may cause a significant number of housebuyers to put their plans on hold for an unspecified period The man who is […]
Court approves debt for equity swap insolvency arrangement
Decision is first to be approved by High Court involving a debt for equity swap The High Court has approved a personal insolvency arrangement (PIA) for a […]
Record €60m debt write-off for former quarry operator gets High Court approval
A former quarry operator has had a €60m debt write-off approved by the High Court – the largest ever under personal insolvency legislation. Enda Patrick […]
State-backed mortgage scheme hikes interest rates steeply despite bank cuts
The interest rate on the Government’s Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan product has been increased massively. Rates have shot up by up to 0.75pc at a […]
Home truths: Big time housing promises without taxes are hollow
What can you get for €16bn these days? Well €16bn is the total amount estimated that Irish people will spend online this year. The Consumer […]
One in 10 mortgage arrears cases involve separated borrowers – BPFI
Banking lobby group calls for State to introduce measures to help separated borrowers. About one in 10 mortgage arrears cases involve borrowers who are separated, […]
In your pocket: Switching mortgage can bring major savings
Rates are falling and lenders are keen to offer better deals – it’s easier than you think. Up to 160,000 Irish families are out of […]
Mortgage interest rates dip but remain more than double euro-zone average
Central Bank statistics show weighted average interest rates on new mortgages was 2.9% in November. Interest rates on mortgages taken by Irish consumers were lower […]
New buyers pay €2,000 a year more than rest of eurozone
RIP-OFF mortgage rates in this country are costing new home buyers €2,000 a year more than our European neighbours. New figures from the Central Bank […]
Pensions deliver decade-best growth of 20.6% in 2019
Zurich Life tops peers as funds recover from calamitous end to 2018. Irish pension funds delivered bumper returns in 2019, making it the best year for investment returns in […]
Another year of dysfunction ahead for Ireland’s property market
Looming general election and UK-EU trade talks add to uncertainty for developers. With the new year now a week old and a raft of predictions […]
Responsible Homeowners Betrayed
Thousands of responsible homeowners have been betrayed by the sale of their mortgages by PTSB into a bond fund which will be serviced by […]
Revealed: Ireland’s most expensive streets and their €2m plus homes
Daily growth of €15m in value of housing stock fuelled by new supply rather than increasing prices, writes Wayne O’Connor A leafy Dublin street sandwiched […]
Value of residential property in Ireland up by 5.3bn euro in last 12 months
SEVEN HUNDRED AND fifteen properties worth €1 million or more have been sold in Ireland so far this year, according to the latest Wealth Report from […]
Want to start the process?
Let us guide you through the mortgage process