Want to start the process?

Let us guide you through the mortgage process

Schedule a free consulation at info@dowlingfinancial.ie, or fill our the form and we will follow up with you shortly.

Tell us about yourself

By filling in the form, you agree to our Privacy Policy, including our cookie use.

    This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    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 get a home loan now range from people in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) to those who are not affected directly by Covid-19 supports, but who work in a sector seen as vulnerable.

    It was supposed to be the dream move for Anne and Barry, but rather quickly it turned into a nightmare.

    After nearly a year-and-a-half of living with Anne’s parents back in Cork following the couple’s move from Dublin, both decided in January that it was time to fly the coop once again and move into their own home.

    When they first moved to Cork, Anne got a transfer with her job in retail, while Barry managed to gain new employment in the hospitality industry as a chef. After the pre-requisite six months of continuous work in their new positions, they set about looking for a mortgage via the services of a broker.

    Things were proceeding well until the pandemic hit Ireland in March. Along came lockdown, and the processing of Anne and Barry’s mortgage came to an abrupt halt.

    As the nation emerged from its Covid-enforced hibernation, the whole of Ireland felt optimistic – as did both Anne and Barry. The search for a new home and mortgage restarted, much like the economic activity across swathes of sectors previously shut down.

    Come September, Barry’s employer moved from the Temporary Wage Subsidy Scheme (TWSS) to the new Employment Wage Subsidy Scheme (EWSS), which doesn’t show up on an employee’s wage slip. The business also introduced a takeaway service with a lot of success, meaning Barry had a powerful letter of undertaking in his arsenal that said his job was secure.

    The couple found the house for them and had their mortgage approved. Things were looking up, until the dark clouds of Covid swirled overhead.

    “We contacted the broker on the Wednesday to talk about getting the letter of proof, leading to drawdown,” said Anne. “On the Thursday, all the rumours started breaking about the country going back to Level 3 lockdown. I asked if that was going to affect our drawdown, but the broker said ‘Let’s wait and see’.”

    For Anne, the nerves started. The couple they were buying the house from were pushing for a quick sale. Doubts about Anne and Barry’s ability to drawdown the mortgage grew stronger.

    The country officially moved to Level 3 lockdown and restaurants were limited to takeaway. Barry’s employer became a cause for concern for lenders due to its use of EWSS.

    The bank would not proceed with the drawdown after it discovered Barry’s situation.

    Despite the best efforts of the couple’s broker, and the advanced nature of the process, Anne and Barry did not get their mortgage. The lender eventually withdrew the offer when the country went to Level 5. The couple couldn’t proceed.

    “I was absolutely devastated,” Anne said. “[I was] very emotional. We had come so far; we had been waiting for this for a very long time.

    “We weren’t out of pocket, but we were out of hope,” she added.

    This example is not an isolated incident. While the names of the couple have been changed, the details are all too familiar for many across Ireland.

    The Sunday Independent has interviewed other would-be home buyers and uncovered additional examples of those who have also experienced problems securing and drawing down their mortgages due to Covid-19.

    Some spoke of being asked whether they or their employer receives a Covid-19 payment, as well as having mortgages agreed in principle subject to their employer coming off Covid-19 supports. Others reported that the communication from their banks regarding any change of circumstances to their mortgages had been poor, causing additional stress. Many feel they have been left in limbo.

    Last week, the banking sector’s communication of changes to the mortgage application process to consumers prompted the Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) to write an open letter.

    Addressed to the CEOs of Ireland’s mortgage providers, the letter states that some mortgage lenders have not sufficiently considered the impact of changes, such as additional credit checks before the drawdown of mortgages, on customers in the mortgage application process. It also said some had not managed communications with these customers in a proactive or consumer-centric way.

    The letter outlines that CBI expects mortgage lenders to clearly communicate with customers at all stages of the mortgage application process, including those customers who have already received loan offers.

    “Mortgage lenders must make clear to customers that where there has been any material change to the customer’s circumstances prior to the drawdown of funds, the loan offer may subsequently be withdrawn, paused or varied. At a minimum, this communication must be included in the loan offer letter,” wrote Helena Mitchell, head of consumer protection at the CBI, in the letter.

    Anne acknowledged the letter from CBI to the banks, but said she was still frustrated.

    “We felt very much like the last people to know,” she said. “The banks have let us down. We have already bailed them out once. They made a promise, and they reneged on it.”

    While emotions are high regarding mortgages, some believe that the banks are being prudent. Memories of the bailout are still very much raw in the industry – no bank wants to see the same happen again.

    Banks and mortgage providers contacted by the Sunday Independent, including Bank of Ireland, AIB (which includes EBS and Haven), Permanent TSB, KBC, Ulster Bank and Dillosk, all said that they need to be responsible lenders – not only during the pandemic but at all times.

    Most banks talked about ensuring up-to-date financial information is being shared, confirming that customers would have a continuous stream of income and ensuring they can afford the mortgages sought. Most banks said they were still open to applications from all workers from all sectors and were still facilitating loans.

    However, an analyst at Goodbody Stockbroker recently pointed to the potential for diverging trends with mortgage approval rates and drawdown. Examining mortgage figures released by the Banking and Payment Federation of Ireland (BPFI) last month, the analyst said one reason for a future gap could be a reluctance by banks to sanction drawdowns for those whose firms are on Government support in the second lockdown.

    The BPFI figures said 4,621 mortgages were approved in September 2020, up 19.3pc on the month and 20.8pc on the year, valued at €1.12bn.

    Looking at drawdowns, however, 8,220 new mortgages to the value of €1.95bn were drawn down by borrowers during the third quarter of 2020. These figures represent a fall of 30.3pc in volume and 25.8pc in value on the corresponding third quarter of 2019. It should be noted that drawdowns were up on the previous quarter.

    While most banks claimed they continued to process applications and facilitate drawdowns, brokers on the ground have expressed concern.

    Michael Dowling, a broker who owns Dowling Financial, estimates that 400,000 to 500,000 people may struggle to get a mortgage due to Covid-19 concerns from banks.

    Those who will struggle to get a home loan now range from people in receipt of the pandemic unemployment payment (PUP) to those who are not affected directly by Covid-19 supports, but who work in a sector seen as vulnerable – such as construction, retail, hospitality or aviation.

    “There is a lack of clear communication around what the banks are prepared to accept and what they are not prepared to accept,” said Dowling. “And there are inconsistencies then in terms of the way banks apply the criteria.”

    He said while he respected that banks had the right to apply their own criteria, he pointed to the joint payment breaks agreed across the industry, which had worked well.

    Dowling mentioned AIB, which did a U-turn in the summer after effectively halting applications from those on State supports.

    “Some banks said they have no issue with accepting applications [from those on Covid-19 supports] but they weren’t proceeding to loan offer, which is the second part of the process,” he said. “And then all banks have a uniform in relation to drawdowns. There is an insistence that you’re not on a Covid-19 payment, or more importantly, that your employer is not benefiting from a Covid-19 payment.

    “Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, they just won’t release the funds if that particular situation arises. In the letter [from the bank] they are asking if you as an employee are benefiting, and is your company benefiting [from Covid support schemes].”

    Dowling said in some cases banks are seeking letters from employers at several stages of the process – application, loan approval specific to a property and before drawdown – sometimes all within a matter of weeks.

    In companies where a portion of staff are being supported via Covid schemes, other employees may find themselves under greater scrutiny.

    Dowling gave an example of a senior employee at a company who is earning a six-figure sum. Although his salary is not affected by any scheme, the majority of workers at the company are.

    “Banks are nervous then because they are saying maybe the company is under pressure.

    “I can tell you at the moment that anyone employed in what the banks have defined as vulnerable industries – retail, hospitality, airline, construction and leisure – well, the banks are taking a view on that,” he added. “I wouldn’t like to be a pilot now trying to get a mortgage.”

    The broker said that the actions of banks could be called a “blacklisting” of particular sectors.

    When the first lockdown was lifted, the banks remained cautious about these vulnerable sectors. Dowling believes that even next year, banks will want to see that specific companies can rebound before considering staff for loans.

    Industry group Brokers Ireland backed up Dowling’s claims and said that banks are now assessing employers and their risks, rather than the individual applicant.

    AIB, Ulster Bank, Dillosk and KBC said they reviewed applications on a case-by-case basis.

    Bank of Ireland said it assesses each application carefully, taking individual customer circumstances into consideration. It said it wants to approve mortgages responsibly, and considers criteria such as the type of employment or industry as well as evidence of consistent income.

    Permanent TSB said it did not exclude any sector from applying for a loan, and is working with its customers on a case-by-case basis.

    As Ireland remains firmly in the grips of Covid- 19, and with fears growing that lockdown isn’t quelling the pandemic’s spread, Anne and many others like her fear the dream of owning their own property is further away than ever before.

    Looking ahead, Anne, who is pregnant, said she didn’t think she would be in her own home for the foreseeable future. She doesn’t believe Barry will be off the Covid support any time soon.

    “We were hoping to be in the house now,” she said. “Our second baby is due in March. If my partner doesn’t come off the EWSS, then we are not going to be in a position to apply for another mortgage until after I return from maternity leave, in which case it would have to be another six months in employment.

    “We are looking to at least two or three years down the line,” she added. “That is too late for us. We have come so close.”

    The BPFI response

    Both borrowers and mortgage brokers say they are seeing changes to bank lending practices first hand. Those spoken to by the Sunday Independent said banks were not allowing some people who were in receipt of Covid-19 supports to draw down their agreed mortgages, while other said certain sectors were being effectively blacklisted.

    In response to questions, Brian Hayes, the chief executive of the Banking and Payments Federation (BPFI), said customers may be asked to confirm their employment and income situation had not materially changed as they move through the mortgage process.

    “In cases where changes have occurred, and depending on the circumstances of each individual case, a review with the applicant may be undertaken by the lender to determine whether or not the applicant can still afford to make agreed regular mortgage repayments,” he said.

    “This approach is considered to be clearly in the interest of both the customer and the lender to ensure that mortgages are not extended to those who cannot now or in the immediate future afford them. This is also in line with regulatory requirements set out by the Central Bank to ensure that borrowers can afford the loans they take out.”

    News by independent.ie, edited by Dowling Financial.

    Latest news

    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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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% […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • ‘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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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.   […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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’ […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • ‘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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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? […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • “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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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. […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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. […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • €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 […]

      Read more

    • €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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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, […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    • 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 […]

      Read more

    Want to start the process?

    Let us guide you through the mortgage process