Revealed, Over €2.8 Billion to be Saved Across the Country by Switching Mortgage

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Over 180,000 households nationwide stand to save over €15,000 each by switching their mortgage. New analysis by moneysherpa.ie the Irish personal finance website has broken down how much could be saved county by county.

More than 10,000 switchers in South County Dublin will save over €33,000 by switching with €198 Million of savings across the county in total.

1,200 eligible switchers in Leitrim will save the least in the country at over €8,000 on average, but even in Leitrim savings are considerable with €11 Million to be saved by moving to better rates.

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Savings have reached record levels due to a combination of rising house prices and falling mortgage rates for switchers. With higher house prices mortgage holders now have lower loan to values and can get lower rates.

According to the latest data from the Central Bank of Ireland standard variable rate mortgage holders are on a mortgage rate of 3.48%, despite fixed rates of 2.2% or less now being available.

Commenting on the analysis Mark Coan, Managing Director of moneysherpa.ie said “Our analysis highlights the massive opportunity people have to save by switching mortgage. Over a quarter of mortgage holders can save an average of €15,000 across their remaining term.”

“Mortgage switching is the single biggest thing most of us can do to get our finances in shape. If you aren’t on a tracker or fixed rate you should almost certainly switch.”

“As the cost of living crisis deepens, clawing back money lost through high interest payments can help lift the burden on households and inject money back into the local economy”

Most mortgage brokers offer switching for free and legal costs for switching are usually half that for your original mortgage.

County by County Breakdown

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First Time Buyers Ultimate Guide Ireland 2022

First Time Buyers Ireland
First Time Buyers Ireland

With house building ramping up and new homes starting to come on stream, many are starting to dream of owning their first home once again.

By using a combination of the grants available to you, equity release from the family home and the right mortgage lender, that new home might be closer than you think.

Times are still tough for First Time Buyers due to rising prices and some of the tightest lending rules in Europe.

Don’t despair though, with the right approach First Time Buyers may still be able to get a foot on the property ladder.

By using the Help to Buy grant, plus a gift from your parents funded through equity release you can increase the size of your deposit and steal a march on other would be buyers.

In our First Time Buyer Ultimate Guide Ireland 2022, we’ll give you the full run down on everything you need to know if you are a first time buyer, plus some insider tips to help you get your dream home.

1. Who qualifies as a First Time Buyer? First Time Buyers Ireland 2022

To qualify as a First Time Buyer you can’t have had a mortgage before.

If you have ever taken out a mortgage under your name either in Ireland or overseas, you are no longer considered a First Time Buyer.

The good news though is you still count as a First Time Buyer if you previously inherited a house or bought outright. It’s only taking out a mortgage previously that disqualifies you from being a First Time Buyer.

Importantly if there are two people going on the mortgage, both must never had a mortgage before to qualify as a First Time Buyer.

2. How much can I borrow? First Time Buyers Ireland 2022?

The amount you can borrow is set by two things. First the Central Bank lending limits and secondly your mortgage lender’s credit policy.

Central Bank Lending Limits

The Irish Central Bank’s lending limits are some of the tightest in the world, so these are usually the biggest hurdle that needs to be overcome. [1]

The absolute maximum you can borrow under Central bank limits is 4.5 times your annual gross household income, however lenders are only allowed to go this high on 20% of mortgages. These are known as exceptions, 80% of mortgages must be under 3.5 times annual gross household income.

Typically lenders want any loans over 3.5 to go to what they see as the lowest risk customers. So these ‘exceptions’ go to people later in life who are the very highest earners and have lower living expenses than most First Time Buyers.

For the vast majority of First Time Buyers then, the maximum you can lend will be 3.5 times your annual gross household income. So this is how it usually works.

  • Kate earns €34,000 gross per annum, €24,000 basic and €10,000 last year in bonuses
  • Liam earns €30,000 gross per annum, €20,000 basic and €10,000 in commission last year

So their joint gross annual income is €64,000 per annum.

The Central Bank limit of 3.5 will allow them to borrow up to a maximum of €224,000.

Lender Credit Policy

On top of the Central Bank limits lenders apply a second set of rules to assess if you will be able to repay the mortgage.

These differ significantly from lender to lenders. By way of example some lenders discount bonus and commission payments completely and others bump up salary contributions if you are in certain professions with job security.

More generally the lender looks at your earning and spending history in the last 6 months to work out how much income will you have left over after you have covered your commitments.

The more money they think you will have left over the more they are likely to lend you.

This makes picking the lender who maximises your earnings and maximising how much you put by in the 6 months before applying for a mortgage really important.

It can even help you get hold of one of those precious mortgage exceptions.

Look for a mortgage broker who has access to all the lenders in the market as some lenders are only available via a broker.

3. What Deposit do I need for a First Time Buyer mortgage? Ireland 2022

The minimum amount of deposit you need to buy is also set by the Central Bank of Ireland.

The good news is that as a First Time Buyer you only need to put down 10% of the properties purchase price upfront. Second time buyers have to stump up a whopping 20% for the deposit.

That said it still makes sense to maximise your deposit if you can.

Ramping up the deposit reduces the mortgage size, which can knock thousands off the interest you will pay or may even help you afford a property that the Central Bank rules may have put out of reach.

With spiralling rents eating into your savings, how can you maximise your deposit?

4. What are the latest help schemes for First Time Buyers? First Time Buyers Ireland 2022

The Help to Buy scheme allows first time buyers to claim 10% of their property value to help them pay a deposit on newly built homes.

It’s a Government tax refund scheme and in order to claim, you must have paid the equivalent amount of 10% of your property value in tax in the previous 4 years before moving into your new home. 

In order to claim from this scheme, your home must be valued at €500,000 or less. 

The most you can claim is €30,000, so if your home is valued at more than €300,000, you still can only receive €30,000 max.

You may be able to bump up your deposit further with a gift from friends or relatives. The usual route for first time buyers is through their parents, commonly known as the ‘bank of mum and dad’.

It’s unlikely that your parents have fifty grand lying about the house, but they may have equity tied up in the family home that they can access to provide cash for a deposit via a process known as equity release. Equity release allows home owners who have paid down part of their mortgage to get a tax free cash lump some to fund a deposit for their family members or others.

By releasing equity on the family home parents can gifts their kids up to €330,000 tax free, this may be an attractive option for them if the kids are still taking up room on the family couch or wasting thousand of euro’s in rent.

5. Insider Tips for First Time Buyers Ireland 2022

  1. Work with a mortgage broker who will match you with a lender that maximises your mortgage
  2. Reduce your outgoings in the 6 months before applying for a mortgage to maximise your loan
  3. Save as much as you can yourself for a deposit
  4. Top up your deposit with the Help to Buy scheme
  5. Consider equity release as an option to further increase your deposit and purchasing power

By maximising your deposit and working with a broker with access to all potential lenders, first time buyers will make the most of their chances of securing their dream home.

Next Steps – First Time Buyers Ireland 2022

Are you a first time buyer wanting to find a mortgage for your new property? Contact one of our mortgage sherpas today free of charge!

Trying to save money as a first time buyer? Check out our top ten saving tips in Ireland here!

Want to learn more about the first time buyers help to buy scheme here or equity release here.

If you have any questions about lenders or switching mortgages feel free to contact our QFA mortgage sherpas here at moneysherpa.

Home Plus Ultimate Review Ireland 2022

homeplus

Home Plus are the only provider of Equity Release Home Reversion products for people over 55 in Ireland, but are they the right choice for you? In our Home Plus Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on home reversion plus what the options and alternatives are.

home plus

Home Plus are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and have been offering Equity Release products in Ireland for over a decade.

Equity Release can be a good way to unlock money tied up in your home if you are over 55. You can use the cash for anything you’d like from a holiday to helping the kids get on the property ladder.

Equity Release comes in two flavours,

  • Lifetime Loan – You get a tax free loan which you pay off plus interest when you sell after moving out or dying.
  • Home Reversion – You get a tax free lump sum for selling a portion of your home and are able to continue living there.

If you want make sure you will have equity left in your home when you move out or die home reversion beats lifetime loans. This is because the proportion of your home you are giving up is agreed up front. With lifetime loans the proportion of your home given up increases the longer you stay in your home.

With home reversion you sell a % of your home to release cash, but hold onto the rest and can live in the home till you permanently move out or die. Home Plus are the only current provider of home reversion products in Ireland.

Here’s how the Home Plus home reversions work in principle,

  • You sell a share of your home to Home Plus for a lump sum in return
  • The older you are the less of a discount to market rate you will receive when you sell
  • You continue to live in the property as long as you wish, with Home Plus getting a proportion of the sale proceeds when you or your estate sells the property

You can set up a Free consultation with Qualified Financial Advisor from Home Plus here.

Read on to get all the facts and figures on Home Plus and home reversion equity release to see if it might be a good fit for you.

  1. Home Plus Rate and Product Overview – Home Plus Ireland 2022
  2. Pro’s & Con’s – Home Plus Ireland 2022
  3. Tips – Home Plus Ireland 2022
  4. Alternatives – Home Plus Ireland 2022
  5. In a Nutshell – Home Plus Ireland 2022

Home Plus Product Overview – Home Plus Ireland 2022

Home Plus are the only providers of home reversion products in Ireland and have been in Ireland for over a decade. They are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

They are a sister company of retirement bridge in the UK who are the UK’s largest administrators of home reversion products.

Home Plus Home Reversion Product

Home reversion is a form of equity release where you sell a portion of your home to a provider in return for a cash free lump. In the UK home reversion makes up over 10% of the Equity Release market.

With a home reversion you can choose to either to just take the lump sum with no monthly payments or to increase the lump sum size ‘boosting’ by committing to make monthly payments.

Unlike with a Lifetime Loan the Home Plus Equity Release product caps the share of the property that you give up at the start. This guarantees that you will own the remainder allowing you to pass on a share to your family if you wish when you die.

How much lump sum can I access from Home Plus?

The minimum lump sum is €50,000 with no maximum lump sum in theory as it depends on the value of your home.

In practice the maximum lump sum you can receive is 70% of the current market value of your home which is then discounted depending on your age.

If you’re in your early 60’s then the discount on the lump sum is around 50%, as the provider expects their cash to be tied up in your home for quite awhile.

If you are in your 80’s though you will get closer to the market value as your lump sum as the provider doesn’t expect you or their investment to be in your house for as long.

In actual fact the level of discount is set by the youngest resident on the deeds, as that is what will drive how long Home Plus will have to wait for the sale of your home.

Example use of Home Plus for Home Deposit

Eileen is 75 and has a house worth €700,000. Under the terms of the Home Plus home reversion, she is entitled to sell 70% of her home to Home Plus.

Her son Mark is looking to move house as the kids are getting bigger. Eileen wants to help her son and decides to gift Mark €175,000. Eileen sells 54% of her home to Home Plus to raise the €175,000 she needs to gift to Mark.

As the €175,000 is under the current parent /child CAT threshold amount of €335,000 there is no taxes involved and Mark can use the €175,000 plus a mortgage to buy a larger home.

Home Plus Discount Rate

The big drawback of home reversion is the steep discount that applies when you sell your share to Home Plus in return for a lump sum.

This depends on your age, at 55 you will only get around 23% of the market value for the share you sell, while at 75 this climbs to around 50%.

The good news is that you will get around 5% more if the youngest home owners is male, but the bad news is that this is because the provider thinks it is more likely that you will die earlier.

The discounts are so big, because of the amount of risk the provider is taking on versus the risk the home owner is taking.

You get your hands on the cash and know exactly how much equity you are giving up, but the provider doesn’t know when the property will sell or what state the housing market will be in when that happens.

Qualifying for Home Plus

To qualify for a home reversion

You must be: 

  • The registered owner(s) of the property
  • All owners must be sellers, i.e. sign the home reversion agreement
  • The youngest owner must be over 55

the Property must be

  • Your main residence (and not used for any commercial purpose)
  • Any outstanding mortgage must be cleared from the proceeds of the sale
  • Worth at least €120,000

Home Plus Home Reversion Terms

As part of the home reversion agreement you have the option to buy back the share you sell to Home Plus at the market rate at any time. This can make sense if for example you decide to downsize your home at any point.

Your estate also has first option to buy back the share at the market rate from Home Plus after your death if they wanted to keep the family home.

If the option is not exercised the house will go for public sale with each party receiving their share of the proceeds on sale.

Pro’s & Con’s – Home Plus Ireland 2022

So here’s some of the key things to consider when thinking about getting a home reversion without monthly payments

Pro’s

  • You can access cash now and continue to live in your home
  • You can’t lose your home while you live there, it’s insured and in good condition
  • You know in advance how much you are leaving to your kids
  • You are free to do whatever you like with the cash you free up

Con’s

  • Discount to market value reducing the overall value of your estate
  • Set up costs of around €1,500 in total, for Solicitor and Valuer fees.
  • Potential impact on means tested social security benefits
  • If property prices rise you will only get the benefit on your share

Home Reversion Tips – Home Plus Ireland 2022

1) Release your equity in phases

If you are thinking about a home reversion you don’t need to take it all out at once. By taking it out over time you can reduce the overall amount of discount to market value you receive.

There is no point in having cash from your home reversion sat in the bank not being used and earning no interest. So only take out what you need at each stage.

2) Talk to those who might be effected

If your thinking of Equity Release it may make sense for you to talk to members of your family who may be effected.

There is obviously no legal reason you have to discuss your decision with them, but it can save some heartache when your decision to take equity release comes to light later on down the track.

3) Get advice

Equity Release is a big decision and you should get advice and guidance through the process from a qualified financial advisor and a solicitor.

If you use a qualified financial advisor who has an appointment with Spry Finance or Home Plus from the Central bank of Ireland they will probably be free to use, as the providers will cover their costs. You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor who can talk you through how to get a home reversion here.

You will have to pay for a solicitor, with fees ranging from €1,200 to €2,500 depending on who you use. We recommend Colm O’Cochlain & Co who have a flat all in fee of €1,200 including VAT for equity releases, as they have the lowest fees, specialise in equity release arrangements and operate nationwide. Please quote moneysherpa if you want to secure the best rate.

Alternatives – Home Plus Ireland 2022

The other main form of equity release is lifetime loans, where you borrow against the equity in your home. You can check out our article on Spry Finance lifetime loans here or our article on equity release here were we weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each option.

In a Nutshell – Home Plus Ireland 2022

Equity release is growing in popularity if you’re over 55 as a way to free up much needed cash from your home and still continue to live there. If you’re under 55 the equivalent is a top up mortgage.

You can use it for yourself or to free up cash for your kids, often to help them get on the housing ladder. It is relatively costly compared to downsizing so you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

If you do want to go ahead with equity release you should get qualified financial advice.

One of the two most popular ways to release equity is through a home reversion, the only provider of these in Ireland right now is Home Plus who are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Next Steps – Home Plus Ireland 2022

You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor who can talk you through how to complete a home reversion here or you can check out moneysherpa’s own in house broker teams the mortgage sherpas here.

The other main form of equity release is lifetime loans, where you borrow against the equity in your home. You can check out our article on Spry Finance lifetime loans here or our article on equity release here were we weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each option.

We have loads more in our mortgage provider reviews here.

If you want to have a chat and talk it through you can click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

You can get more detail on lifetime loans, home reversion and equity release from the CCPC [1].

Ulster Bank Closure Who Should I Switch to? Ireland 2022

ulsterbank
ulster bank closure

The impending Ulster Bank closure and the pull out of KBC this year from the Irish market is set to cause significant customer disruption.

There are over 1 million accounts and an estimated 500,000 customers with Ulster Bank and a further 300,000 with KBC. Dwarfing the scale of previous bank closures from Anglo, Danke Bank etc..

Closure notices for Ulster Bank customers are drop through customer’s doors by the end of March 2022 giving Ulster bank customers 6 months to switch to another bank, before your account is closed.

If you don’t switch by then, you will be simply issued a cheque with your remaining balance.

If you a have a mortgage with Ulster Bank this is set to be transferred to PTSB, but with PTSB’s rates some of the highest in the market it probably makes sense to look at switching that as well.

So what options are left for best current account, savings and mortgage?

Don’t panic there are some better and less expensive options out there than Ulster Bank and switching may not be as difficult as you think.

Switching Current Account – Ulster Bank Closure Ireland 2022

Best Digital Only Bank

If you don’t need to lodge cash or cheques then the Digital only banks N26 or Revolut are great options.

They have no monthly fees, the lowest once off fees and the best apps on the market. With features from kids accounts to trading in bit coin already built in and a really slick user experience.

They are also both covered under the EU Deposit Guarantees up to €100,000 the same as the non Digital banks.

One thing to watch out for though is some employers on old payroll systems may struggle with the EU Iban. This will only be a minority of employers however as under EU law everyone should have upgraded their payroll systems a number of years ago to be SEPA compliant.

Revolut already has 1.7 million customers in Ireland and recently became a full bank, so that’s why they are our pick of the bunch.

However, if you still need to lodge cash or cheques you have two options. Get someone with a traditional bank account to do it to their account and then send you the money or get yourself a traditional account from one of the banks below.

Traditional Banks

If digital only isn’t an option for you there are now 5 other more traditional banks you can choose from for your current account. The interest on all these accounts is pretty much irrelevant as it is so low, so what you are looking for is low fees.

If you don’t use your ATM regularly An Post or your local Credit union may be a good options. Both of these come in at €60 a year in fees. However, An Post charge 60c per per withdrawal and your Credit Union will charge around around the same so this can mount up quickly if you head to the cash machine once a week.

In that case we would recommend PTSB’s current account. It’s slightly more pricey at €72 a month, but withdrawals are free.

Switching Saving Accounts – Ulster Bank Closure Ireland 2022

Deposit interest rates are at record lows of around 0.5% with inflation heading for 8% or more, you should probably look at talking to a financial advisor if you have €10K or more to invest.

Investments can yield 4% per annum or more depending on the risk level and can help take the edge of inflation.

If you still want the security of a guaranteed rate the best rates are to be found from banks outside of Ireland. You can access rates up to 1.15% from banks across Europe on raisin.ie or consider a state saving account with around 0.6% interest rates.

If you have less than €10,000 squirrelled away then you may be better off leaving it or transferring it to your current account. The Digital Banks offer the ability for you to separate from your daily account with ‘vaults’ or ‘money jar’ features on their apps.

Switching Mortgages – Ulster Bank Closure Ireland 2022

Ulster Bank have sold their existing mortgages to PTSB and KBC to Bank of Ireland. This means if you have a mortgage with either you and your mortgage will transfer.

PTSB and Bank of Ireland have the highest mortgage rates in the market so many Ulster and KBC customers are considering switching to a different lender. If you are in your fixed rate period then PTSB and Bank of Ireland will have to honour those rates, but after that they could choose to hike rates increasing your monthly repayments.

Ulster’s non tracker rates range from 3.5% to 3.9% which are already some of the highest in the market.

So a typical Ulster mortgage customer on their 3.5% variable rate, with €150,000 remaining over 15 years would save €106 a month by switching to the best deal on the market, that’s more than €19,000 over their remaining term and would avoid the risk of a future rate hike.

Avant Money are offering €1,500 upfront for anyone switching their mortgage from Ulster Bank or KBC. The offer is available until the 31st of March and targets customers thinking of switching from Ulster & KBC as both exit the Irish market this year.

Switching costs are usually around €1,500 for solicitor and valuation fees combined, so this offer will make switching from Ulster and KBC effectively free.

At moneysherpa for example we offer an all in legal package including all outlays for €1,200 including VAT, while estate agent valuation fees are typically around €200. So €1,400 all in.

The repayment calculation is based on switching to Avant Money’s 5 Year fixed rate and using the switching offer to cover their upfront costs.

If you are a tracker however, sit tight. Any new owner will have to honour your existing terms.

You can see how much higher PTSB and Bank of Ireland rates are in the table below.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

Switching Next Steps – Ulster Bank Closure Ireland 2022

If you have an account with Ulster Bank you will have to switch it in the next month, so act now to beat the rush.

  • Best Current Account – Revolut
  • Best Savings Account – Raisin.ie

When it comes to mortgages Ulster didn’t have great rates to start with (3.5%-3.9%) and have now been bought out by one of the banks with the highest mortgage rates in the State, PTSB, so now is a good time to switch to save now and to avoid higher rates down the line.

You can calculate your mortgage repayment switching savings here.

This applies for anyone with with a variable rate around 50% of Ulster Bank mortgage holders. If you are still in your fixed rate period then sit tight until you are 3 months from the end then speak to a broker. If you are on a tracker don’t worry, the new owner will have to honour your existing terms.

You can book a free appointment to check out if you would save here.

Spry Finance Ultimate Review Ireland 2022

Spry Finance Logo

Spry Finance are the only provider of Equity Release Lifetime Loans for people over 60 in Ireland, but are they the right choice for you? In our Spry Finance Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on lifetime loans plus what the options and alternatives are.

Spry Finance

Spry Finance are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland, have over 2,000 customers in Ireland and have been offering Equity Release products in Ireland since 2006.

Equity Release can be a good way to unlock money tied up in your home if you are over 60. You can use the cash for anything you’d like from a holiday to helping the kids get on the property ladder.

Equity Release comes in two flavours,

  • Lifetime Loan – You get a tax free loan which you pay off plus interest when you sell after moving out or dying.
  • Home Reversion – You get a tax free lump sum for selling a portion of your home and are able to continue living there.

Lifetime loans are the most popular form for equity release and Spry Finance are the only current provider of lifetime loans in Ireland.

Here’s how the Spry Finance lifetime loans work in principle,

  • You borrow against your properties value
  • The older you are the more you will be able to borrow
  • The loan is charged at a fixed rate of 5.45%
  • You continue to live in the property as long as you wish, with the loan being repaid after you or your estate sells the property

You can set up a Free consultation with Qualified Financial Advisor from Spry Finance here.

Read on to get all the facts and figures on Spry Finance and lifetime Equity Release to see if it might be a good fit for you.

  1. Spry Finance Rate and Product Overview – Spry Finance Ireland 2022
  2. Pro’s & Con’s – Spry Finance Ireland 2022
  3. Recommendation – Spry Finance Ireland 2022
  4. Alternatives – Spry Finance Ireland 2022
  5. In a Nutshell – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

Spry Finance Rate and Product Overview – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

Spry Finance are the only providers of lifetime loans in Ireland after Bank of Ireland withdrew from the market following the market crash in 2008.

They are part of the Seniors Money International Group who also have experience of offering these loans in Australia, Canada, Spain and New Zealand, with funds provided by Deutsche Bank.

Spry Finance Lifetime Loan Product

Lifetime loans are most popular form of equity release where you borrow some of your home’s value at a fixed interest rate. In the UK lifetime loans make up over 90% of the Equity Release market.

With a lifetime loan you can choose to either leave the repayments to when you move out and sell your home or pay off some of the interest monthly.

If you don’t make any monthly payments the interest that builds up will eat into what is left over from the sale of your property for you or your family when you do move out though.

The Spry Finance Equity Release product guarantees however that the money you will have to repay at the point of sale will never be bigger than the value of your home, so you won’t pass on any debt to your family.

How much can I borrow from Spry Finance?

The minimum amount you may borrow is €20,000 with the maximum capped at €500,000

The maximum amount for each property is based on: 

  • a % of the value of your property  
  • the age of the youngest resident when the loan starts (see table below)

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Example use of Spry Finance for Home Deposit

Eileen is 75 and has a house worth €700,000. Under the terms of the Spry Finance Lifetime Loan, she is entitled to borrow up to 30% of the value of her home.

Her son Mark is looking to move house as the kids are getting bigger. Eileen wants to help her son and decides to gift Mark €175,000. Eileen takes out a €175,000 Lifetime Loan at a rate of 4.95% per annum.

As the €175,000 is under the current parent /child CAT threshold amount of €335,000 there is no taxes involved and Mark can use the €175,000 plus a mortgage to buy a larger home.

Spry Finance Interest Rate

The interest rate is fixed at 5.45% for the lifetime of the loan, which gives certainty as to the future loan balance.

At 5.45% the rate is higher than standard fixed rate mortgage products which have comparable rates of around 3%. However, standard mortgages usually must complete before the home owner is 75 so don’t usually make sense for older applicants.

It’s the amount available going up with age, the interest rate being fixed and the fact that the value of the loan never will exceed the value of the property that makes lifetime loans attractive for older customers.

The reason that the interest rate is higher for lifetime loans is that the lender guarantees the rate is fixed no matter how long you stay in your home and that the loan will never become larger than equity in your property.

This is true no matter how long you live or whatever happens to property prices. You can think of this a little like a built in insurance policy on your loan terms.

Qualifying for Spry Finance

To qualify for a lifetime loan

You must be: 

  • The registered owner(s) of the property
  • All owners must be borrowers, i.e. sign the loan agreement

the Property must be

  • Your main residence (and not used for any commercial purpose)
  • Mortgage free or the mortgage can be cleared from the proceeds of the loan
  • Worth at least €250,000 in Dublin or €175,000 elsewhere

Spry Finance Early Repayment Terms

Interest is added to the loan balance each month (i.e. compound interest), so the loan balance grows over time. Interest is calculated on the daily balance and compounded monthly.

So over a long period and a rate of 5.45% interest payments can really mount up, significantly reducing any proceeds to you or your estate from the sale of your home in future.

That’s why even though you don’t have to pay off any of loan until you move out it can make sense to make some repayments if you can afford to and keep the accumulated interest payments down.

With the Spry finance lifetime loan you can make some partial repayments, but limited as follows:

  • Minimum of €500 per partial repayment
  • Maximum of four partial repayments per year
  • Maximum total per year not to exceed 10% of the amount originally borrowed

If you want to pay off more, an Early Repayment Charge may apply. This charge is capped under EU legislation and is calculated on the difference between Central Bank rates when you take out the loan versus what they are at the time you want to pay the loan back.

You should also note that if you want to move house payment of the loan becomes due immediately, you can usually transfer the loan to the new property if it has enough equity. If it doesn’t this can make things tricky and is worth considering if you are thinking of downsizing your home at any point.

Pro’s & Con’s – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

So here’s some of the key things to consider when thinking about getting a lifetime loan

Pro’s

  • You can access cash now and continue to live in your home
  • You can’t lose your home while you live there, it’s insured and in good condition
  • Unlike a home reversion, if property prices rise you still get the full benefit
  • You won’t leave any debt to your kids due to the “No Negative Equity” guarantee
  • You are free to do whatever you like with the cash you free up

Con’s

  • Cost through interest reducing the value of your estate
  • Set up cots of around €3,000 in total, €1,500 once off fee plus Solicitor and Valuer fees.
  • Potential impact on means tested social security benefits
  • Lack of flexibility (you may not be able to downsize later or pay off as early as you’d like)

Lifetime Loan Tips – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

1) Release your equity in phases

If you are thinking about a lifetime loan you don’t need to take it all out at once. By taking it out over time you can reduce the overall amount of interest that you will pay.

There is no point in having cash from your lifetime loan sat in the bank not being used and earning no interest. So only take out what you need to reduce the interest you pay on the lifetime loan overall.

2) Talk to those who might be effected

If your thinking of Equity Release it may make sense for you to talk to members of your family who may be effected.

There is obviously no legal reason you have to discuss your decision with them, but it can save some heartache when your decision to take equity release comes to light later on down the track.

3) Get advice

Equity Release is a big decision and you should get advice and guidance through the process from a qualified financial advisor and a solicitor.

If you use a qualified financial advisor who has an appointment with Spry Finance or Home Plus from the Central bank of Ireland they will probably be free to use, as the providers will cover their costs. You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor from Spry who can talk you through how to get a lifetime loan here.

You will have to pay for a solicitor, with fees ranging from €1,200 to €2,500 depending on who you use. We recommend Colm O’Cochlain & Co who have a flat all in fee of €1,200 including VAT for equity releases, as they have the lowest fees, specialise in equity release arrangements and operate nationwide. Please quote moneysherpa if you want to secure the best rate.

Alternatives – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

The other main form of equity release is home reversion, where you sell a share of your home in return for a lump sum. You can check out our article on Home Plus home reversion here or our article on equity release here were we weigh up the pro’s and con’s of each option.

In a Nutshell – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

Equity release is growing in popularity if you’re over 60 as a way to free up much needed cash from your home and still continue to live there. If you’re under 60 the equivalent is a top up mortgage.

You can use it for yourself or to free up cash for your kids, often to help them get on the housing ladder. It is relatively costly compared to downsizing so you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

If you do want to go ahead with equity release you should get qualified financial advice.

The most common way to release equity is through a lifetime loan, the only provider of these in Ireland right now is Spry Finance who are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Next Steps – Spry Finance Ireland 2022

You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor from Spry who can talk you through how to get a lifetime loan here or you can check out moneysherpa’s own in house broker teams the mortgage sherpas here.

We have loads more in our mortgage provider reviews here.

If you want to have a chat and talk it through you can click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

You can get more detail on lifetime loans, home reversion and equity release from the CCPC [1].

Equity Release Ireland 2022 – How to Release Cash from your Home

Mortgage Top Up

Looking to free up the cash locked up in your home? Equity release can free up cash tied up in your home for holidays, gifting to the kids, home improvements, a new car and more. It can also be a good way to solve financial issues like paying off other debts, freeing up cash for a divorce settlement or to help your kids get on the property ladder.

Equity Release Ireland 2022

Equity Release is only open to people over 55 in Ireland, in this article we will give you the lowdown on whether Equity Release is right for you and what options are available. If you are under 55 your can still free up cash from your home with a mortgage top up.

Equity Release comes in two flavours,

  • Lifetime Loan – You get a tax free loan which you pay off plus interest when you move out and sell.
  • Home Reversion – You get a tax free lump sum for selling a portion of your home, but are able to continue living there.

Both types of equity release can be a good solution if you need cash, but want to stay in your home and are becoming increasingly popular. You can talk to an an expert equity release advisor here.

The option that’s best for you depends on your particular circumstances so read on to find our if equity release is right for you and which type would be the right option.

  1. What Is It and How Does It Work? – Equity Release Ireland 2022
  2. Equity Release Alternatives – Equity Release Ireland 2022
  3. Equity Release Pros and Cons – Equity Release Ireland 2022
  4. Equity Release Top Tips – Equity Release Ireland 2022
  5. In a Nutshell – Equity Release Ireland 2022

What Is It and How does It Work? – Equity Release Ireland 2022

Equity is the cash you would get if you were to sell your home right now. This is the difference between the value of your house and what you still owe on it.

Equity release products are a way of getting at the value locked away in your home without having to sell up and move out. In return for letting you get your hands on the cash right now though, you will have to give more of your homes value away to the financial providers when you eventually move out.

Equity Release is becoming increasingly popular, in the UK over half a million people have released equity from their home. As well as paying off their debts many have used the cash freed up to help their kids get a foothold on the property ladder, giving over £5 Billion to their children through equity release.

According to a recent study in the UK these are the main things that people did with the cash they freed up from Equity Release.

  • Repay other debts (51%)
  • Take a holiday (20%)
  • Improve lifestyle overall (19%)
  • Give to kids (including as a deposit on a new home) (16%)
  • Make home and garden improvements (15%)

There are two providers of Equity Release products currently in Ireland, Spry Finance and Home Plus, both of whom have been in Ireland for decades and are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

Life Time Loan

Spry Finance offer what is know as a Lifetime Loan. This is the most popular form of equity release where you borrow some of your home’s value at a fixed interest rate.

You can choose to either leave the repayments to when you move out and sell your home or pay off some of the interest monthly. If you don’t make any monthly payments the interest that builds up will eat into what is left over from the sale of your property for you or your family when you do move out though.

The Spry Equity Release product guarantees however that the money you will have to repay at the point of sale will never be bigger than the value of your home, so you won’t pass on any debt to your family.

Home Reversion

Home Plus offer the other type of equity release, known as Home Reversion. With Home Reversion the provider pays you a tax free lump sum for a portion of your home at a discount to the market price.

So when the property is sold you (or your family/estate) and the provider split the proceeds depending on the share they have purchased. So if house prices have risen since your sold a share of your property you will benefit less.

Equity Release Alternatives – Equity Release Ireland 2022

Before we go any further the question you need to ask yourself is

Is Equity Release Right for Me?

There is a cost to Equity Release either in the interest rate you pay with a lifetime loan, typically around 5.5%, or in the discounted price that is offered for a share of your property with a home reversion.

That’s why you should consider your alternatives carefully before making any commitments.

Down Sizing

Although current mortgage interest payments are at record lows, interest payments really mount up over longer periods. An option that doesn’t involve paying more in interest or discounting your home value is to sell up and move to a smaller property.

You will probably incur around €1,500 in solicitor and valuer fees in the process, but this is much less than you would pay in interest or discount, so financially speaking is a much better option than equity release.

If you’re settled in an area emotionally this can be a big wrench, so you will have to balance the cost to your quality of life with the financial cost of equity release to come to a final decision on what’s best.

Equity Release Pros and Cons – Equity Release Ireland 2022

So here’s some of the key things to consider when thinking about Equity Release

Pros

  • You can access cash now and continue to live in your home
  • You can’t lose your home while you live there, it’s insured and in good condition
  • You won’t leave any debt to your kids due to the “No Negative Equity” guarantee
  • You are free to do whatever you like with the cash you free up

Cons

  • Cost through interest (lifetime loan) or discounted sale price (home reversion)
  • Costs to arrange a solicitor and valuer for your home, around €2,000 in total
  • Potential impact on means tested social security benefits
  • Lack of flexibility (you may not be able to downsize later or pay off as early as you’d like)

Equity Release Top Tips – Equity Release Ireland 2022

1) Release your equity in phases

If you are thinking about a lifetime loan you don’t need to take it all out at once. By taking it out over time you can reduce the overall amount of interest that you will pay.

There is no point in having cash from your lifetime loan sat in the bank not being used and earning no interest. So only take out what you need to reduce the interest you pay on the lifetime loan overall.

While we are on the subject never release equity to fund speculative investments, focus on taking out the minimum you need for your own use.

2) Talk to those who might be effected

If your thinking of Equity Release it may make sense for you to talk to members of your family who may be effected.

If you are going to take cash out of the value of your home now, that means there will be less cash from the sale of your home if you die or have to move into long term care.

This can cause issues with family members who may see the family home as part of their ‘inheritance’.

There is obviously no legal reason you have to discuss your decision with them, but it can save some heartache when your decision to take equity release comes to light later on down the track.

3) Get advice

Equity Release is a big decision and you should get advice and guidance through the process from a qualified financial advisor and a solicitor.

If you use a qualified financial advisor who has an appointment with Spry Finance or Home Plus from the Central bank of Ireland they will probably be free to use, as the providers will cover their costs. You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor who can talk you through how to get a lifetime loan or home reversion here.

You will have to pay for a solicitor, with fees ranging from €1,200 to €2,500 depending on who you use. We recommend Colm O’Cochlain & Co who operate nationwide as they specialise in equity release arrangements and operate nationwide. Please quote moneysherpa if you want to secure the best rate.

In a Nutshell – Equity Release Ireland 2022

Equity release is growing in popularity if you’re over 55 as a way to free up much needed cash from your home and still continue to live there. If you’re under 55 the equivalent is a top up mortgage.

You can use it for yourself or to free up cash for your kids, often to help them get on the housing ladder. It is relatively costly compared to downsizing so you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

If you do want to go ahead with equity release you should get qualified financial advice.

The most common way to release equity is through a lifetime loan, the only provider of these in Ireland right now is Spry Finance who are regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

What’s next – Equity Release Ireland 2022

You can get in touch with a qualified financial advisor who can talk you through how to get a lifetime loan or home reversion here or you can check out moneysherpa’s reviews of the two equity release players in the Irish market Spry Finance lifetime loan review and Home Plus home reversion review.

You can get more detail on lifetime loans, home reversion and equity release from the CCPC [1].

Should I Get a Mortgage Top Up? 3 Tips to Free Up Cash from Your Home – Ireland 2022

Mortgage Top Up
Mortgage Top Up

Looking to free up the cash locked up in your home? A mortgage top up may be what you are looking for, allowing you to release some of the equity tied up in your home.

No matter what you want the money for, our tips will give you the inside track on whether a mortgage top up is right for you and the best way to go about it.

By switching mortgage to a better rate you can often borrow more and still pay less in repayments per month. That’s why the the number of people taking out a mortgage top up, also sometimes known as releasing equity, is on the rise.

A mortgage top up is simply re-mortgaging your home for more than your current outstanding mortgage to allow you to access the amount you have ‘topped up’ by to spend now.

Use our mortgage top up calculator to see what your new monthly repayment will be. Select ‘new mortgage’ to see if your repayments on the topped up amount are less than you are paying today.

If you’re over 60 there are also some other equity release options know as a home reversion equity release or a lifetime loan equity release, which will also allow you to stay put and release some cash.

For most of us though the mortgage top up is the way to go. To find out more about how you can get a mortgage top up and whether it would suit you read on.

  1. Should I Get A Mortgage Top Up? – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022
  2. 3 Top Up Tips – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022
  3. In a Nut Shell – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022
  4. What Happens Next – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022

Should I Get A Mortgage Top Up? – Mortgage top up Pro’s & Con’s Ireland 2022

Before we go any further the first question you need to ask yourself is

Should I Borrow More At All?

Even though the current historically low mortgage rates mean you may be able to borrow more than you have today and still pay less in monthly repayments, it doesn’t mean you should.

If you can wait and save up instead, you could simply switch your current mortgage loan to the new lower rates reducing your mortgage repayments and giving you the option to reduce the term of your mortgage.

If that’s not an option for you, read on.

Why Are You Borrowing More?

Remember by topping up your mortgage you are securing the loan against your home and probably borrowing across a long period which means making higher interest payments overall.

So if you are thinking of borrowing more long term investments for the future, like home improvements, make more financial sense.

If you are borrowing to fund current spending or consolidating short term debts tread carefully. Although current mortgage interest payments are at record lows, interest payments really mount up over longer periods.

Use our mortgage top up calculator to see what your new monthly repayment will be. Select new mortgage and if your repayments on the topped up amount are still less than you are paying today then you at least have some good options to work with.

3 Top Up Tips – Mortgage Top Up Ireland 2022

There are 3 things you need to consider when you are getting a top up mortgage.

  • Principal – the total amount you need to borrow
  • Purpose – what is the top up part of the loan going to be spent on
  • Process – how do you maximise your approval odds

These 3 p’s are your passport to releasing the maximum amount of cash from your home.

1) Mortgage Top Up Tips – Principle

The principle is the total amount you need to borrow.

Principle = outstanding mortgage + top up amount

In most cases under Central Bank limits the principle can not be bigger than 20% of the value of your home or 3.5 times your annual gross salary.

2) Mortgage Top Up Tips – Purpose

Different lenders have very different policies about what the top up part of your principle can be used for.

That’s why you should use a mortgage broker to match you with the right lender. Some lenders only allow mortgage top ups for home improvement, whilst others pretty much allow anything depending on the size of the top up you are looking for.

Assuming you engage a broker that works with all the lenders on the market here’s how the options break down by top up mortgage amount.

  • Below €20,000, includes all types of discretionary spend such as holidays, weddings, cars with no receipts required.
  • €20,000 – €70,000 , things are still pretty flexible. Includes debt consolidation, gifting to children, education, medical expenses. The only real change is you will need to produce the receipts/quotes.
  • €70,000 up, at this point it’s home improvement only. All lenders offer home improvement top ups, but only some will let you lend up to 80% of the future rather than current value of your home.

Not from €70,000 up it’s likely you are conducting major structural works so you will need quotes in advance and planning permission.

3) Mortgage Top Up Tips – Process

The top up mortgage process works in pretty much the same way as any other mortgage.

Mortgage Customer Journey Final
  1. Get a mortgage broker. They can help you navigate the process and match you with the right lender.
  2. Get mortgage ready. As part of the application process the lenders will also run the rule over your ability to repay the loan. The 6 months before the application is critical as lenders will look at your bank statements in this period to assess your ability to repay the loan as part of the application.
  3. Get a solicitor and valuer. Again a good broker can help you with this and some lenders will cover the costs.
  4. Get your mortgage protection increased. If your increasing your mortgage you will need to increase your protection, this should be less than €5 more per month and you might even save by switching provider.

Once you receive your loan offer and meet any remaining conditions you will be able to drawdown the top up amount into your bank account and get spending.

In a Nutshell – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022

Mortgage top ups are on the rise with historically low rates giving the option for some of releasing cash now without having to increase their repayments.

That said, you should think about if you really need to borrow and why before you take the plunge.

For example for those looking to get their kids on the housing ladder or improve their home, a mortgage top up can make a lot of sense.

Due to the wide range of lender policies though you should arrange your top up through a broker who has access to all the lenders in the market.

What’s next – Mortgage top up Ireland 2022

Make sure all your documentation lines up and if needed clean house on your finances for the 6 months before you apply.

You should then engage with a broker who can guide you to the best lender and help take the pain out of the paperwork. You can check out moneysherpa’s own in house broker teams the mortgage sherpas here.

We have loads more on help to buy grants, the best rates and mortgage provider reviews here.

If you want to have a chat and talk it through you can click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

You can get more detail on the documents required for a mortgage and mortgage top ups from the CCPC [1].

Buy or Rent? Increasing Gap Between Buyers & Renters

Buy or Rent

Based on the most recent Daft DAFT Rental Price Report moneysherpa.ie analysed how rents now compare to the equivalent monthly mortgage payments on the same properties region by region. 

moneysherpa.ie found that in over three quarters of the country monthly rents tot up to over €100,000 more than the equivalent mortgage repayments over 30 years. With West County Dublin showing the highest difference at €297,000 more in rent paid over 30 years versus the monthly repayments with a 30 year fixed rate mortgage.

DJ6cEN

moneysherpa.ie analysis of Monthly Rent v Mortgage Payments

The region with the lowest gap between monthly rents and mortgage repayments was South County Dublin, however even there renting was over €37,000 more expensive than buying.

The Irish Central Bank imposed lending limit of 3.5 times salary is one of the strictest lending caps in Europe, with would-be buyers being forced to continue renting as they are unable to get a mortgage due to the bank’s rules. 

The combination of ‘trapped’ renters and a shortage of new rental supply has led to the spiraling rent inflation seen in the recent DAFT.ie report, with rents up 10.3% year on year on average across the country.

The moneysherpa.ie analysis takes the DAFT.ie rent data and compares it to the equivalent monthly mortgage repayment. Based on the 30 year fixed rate mortgage available from Avant Money for a home of the same value assuming a loan to value of 90%. 

Commenting on the analysis Mark Coan of moneysherpa.ie said 

“This analysis raises some significant questions about the current Central Bank lending rules, which are in effect creating a chasm between those who can afford property and those that can not.”

“Those that can meet the current lending rules, will pay over €100,000 less to live in their home for 30 years and create an asset that they can pass onto the next generation. “

“Those that can’t, even though they are paying a monthly rent that would be more than their mortgage repayments, are €100,000 worse off and will accumulate no assets after paying 30 years of rent.

 “With fixed mortgage rates now available for 30 years there is less risk of current renters defaulting on their mortgage than on their rapidly rising rents. The Central Bank lending rules have to change and change soon to reflect that new reality.” 

“The idea that relaxing the rules will inflate housing costs further is misguided, housing cost inflation is due to lack of supply and is already here in the form of rising rents. Relaxing the rules will simply allow more people to own their own homes and help become financially secure”

moneysherpa.ie has also developed a free online calculator that can be used to calculate how your own monthly rent would compare to a mortgage repayment.

Average regional rents, house prices and monthly mortgage repayments over 30 years. 

RegionHouse PriceMonthly RentMonthly MortgageMonthly DifferenceTotal 30 Year Difference
South County Dublin€625,801€2,258€2,154€104€37,380
Monaghan€208,932€925€719€206€74,089
Donegal€177,740€826€612€214€77,102
Leitrim€158,246€779€545€234€84,340
Kilkenny€262,027€1,162€902€260€93,613
Mayo€185,864€915€640€275€99,075
Tipperary€208,980€1,001€719€282€101,389
Cavan€183,454€934€631€303€108,902
Galway€241,335€1,138€831€307€110,615
Wicklow€383,508€1,630€1,320€310€111,552
Longford€168,327€897€579€318€114,327
Roscommon€171,621€912€591€321€115,645
Clare€219,745€1,087€756€331€119,009
Limerick€215,172€1,085€741€344€123,956
West Meath€244,409€1,192€841€351€126,245
Offaly€225,152€1,126€775€351€126,349
Carlow€228,590€1,146€787€359€129,288
Waterford€270,703€1,300€932€368€132,541
Sligo€172,192€961€593€368€132,578
Laois€218,219€1,146€751€395€142,140
Wexford€256,295€1,300€882€418€150,396
Cork€255,576€1,300€880€420€151,287
Kildare€307,638€1,544€1,059€485€174,611
Meath€301,992€1,525€1,040€485€174,768
Kerry€229,574€1,300€790€510€183,509
Louth€249,525€1,396€859€537€193,345
South City Dublin€446,415€2,145€1,537€608€218,997
North County Dublin€352,134€1,897€1,212€685€246,551
North City Dublin€370,992€2,006€1,277€729€262,422
City Centre Dublin€354,432€1,996€1,220€776€279,343
West County Dublin€329,858€1,962€1,135€827€297,556

Data based on Q4 Daft.ie House Price and Rent report and latest mortgage rates from moneysherpa.ie.

moneysherpa.ie is an independent personal finance websitend regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and was founded by Mark Coan who previously held senior positions with the Irish Independent and Permanent TSB.

3 Real Life Mortgage Switcher Examples Saving Over €10,000 Each

Switching or Remortgaging
Customer testimonial

You might have heard that the average mortgage switcher in Ireland saves over €20,000, but that sounds too good to be true, right?

I mean if that was true everybody would be doing it surely and you’d be straight on google to get switched yourself, so there must be a catch?

Spoiler alert: There’s no catch.

That’s why record numbers are switching right now with more joining in everyday.

So we thought in this article we would share some real life examples of 3 of our recent mortgage switchers. That way you can see for yourself what people are actually saving and what’s actually involved in being a mortgage switcher.

Read on to see what mortgage switchers just like you have saved in the last few months and how much you could save by switching.

If you want to see how different providers compare on your mortgage right now you can click here.

Customer Example Irish Examiner

moneysherpa switchers Graham & Daire were with Ulster Bank and saved €63,000 by switching according to the Irish Examiner

  • Over 25% of all mortgage holders will save over €10,000 by switching
  • It only takes 15 minutes for a mortgage quote
  1. Couple Switching from PTSB to ICS – Mortgage Switcher Example
  2. Couple Switching from AIB to Avant Money – Mortgage Switcher Example
  3. Single Switcher from PTSB to Avant Money – Mortgage Switcher Example
  4. What you should do next – Mortgage Switcher Example

Noel & Naeiri, Mortgage Switch from PTSB to ICS – Mortgage Switcher Example

Noel & Naeiri Gavin have a home in Navan and switched their mortgage using online broker moneysherpa.ie.  Noel works in engineering and Naeiri is a stay at home mum.

Due to a combination of the strong property market in Navan and a number of home improvements they made to the house, the value of their home increased to over €500,000.

This reduced their loan to value to less than 60%, which is the size of the mortgage compared to the value of the property, allowing them to access better mortgage rates. 

They originally took out their mortgage with Permanent TSB which has one of the highest rates in the market. 

The fixed rate they were on was expiring in a few months so they contacted Moneysherpa for guidance on their next step. 

If they did not take action the mortgage would revert to the general variable rate from PTSB, which was 3.7%.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

moneysherpa advised them that they could save even more by switching provider to ICS mortgages, who’s fixed rate packages at 2.29% APRC recognise and reward the reduced risk from a low Loan to Value ratio when your property is worth more than your loan value. 

Noel & Naeiri were able to reduce their mortgage payments and take 4 years off their mortgage saving over €38,000 in the process by completing the switch.

Murray and Jennifer, switched from AIB to Avant Money – Mortgage Switcher Example

Murray and Jennifer living in Drogheda switched their mortgage from AIB to Avant Money with moneysherpa. They saved over €10,000 with Avant Money’s 7 year Fixed rate and were able to use the savings they made to pay off their mortgage earlier.

Avant Money have some of the lowest rates on the market, their 7 year fixed is one of our favourites starting from 1.95% and locking in your savings for 7 years.

Short/Medium60% LTV70% LTV80% LTV90% LTV
Fixed TermRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRC
3 Years1.95%2.03%2.05%2.06%2.15%2.23%2.2%2.25%
4 Years1.95%2.02%2.05%2.23%2.15%2.23%2.2%2.23%
5 Years1.95%2.02%2.05%2.06%2.15%2.22%2.2%2.25%
7 Years1.95%2.01%2.05%2.07%2.15%2.21%2.25%2.28%
10 Years2.10%2.12%2.20%2.20%2.30%2.32%2.40%2.40%
AVANT MONEY RATES (APRC calculated on €100K loan, 30 years, valuation of €185, security release €40)

ICS Mortgages pip Avant at the post for the shorter fixed term products due to their more flexible credit policy. However if you have a sparkling credit history the Avant Money 3 year and 4 year fixed at 2.39% & 2.43% respectively are so close it makes no difference.

Sandra, Switching from PTSB to Avant Money -Mortgage Switcher Example

Sandra Chubb from Ballyfermot switched her €110,000 mortgage from PTSB to Avant Money in January.

She saved over €10,000 by lowering her interest rate from 3.4% to 2.01% APRC with Avant Money’s 7 year fixed product. 


By reducing her interest rate by over 40% she was able to afford to reduce her mortgage term from 21 years to just 12 saving thousands in interest payments. 


Sandra switched with online broker moneysherpa.ie 

“They were really friendly, gave me independent advice and helped me pull together the paperwork. Most people don’t realise they are in a position to save so much by switching” 

That’s why we would recommend using a broker to help you switch to a fixed rate product with a low on-going rate from either Avant Money or ICS.

The lenders with the lowest rates can usually only be accessed by brokers, many brokers are free to use and they can take the pain out of the paperwork.

Customer Example Irish Examiner

moneysherpa switchers Graham & Daire were with Ulster Bank and saved €63,000 by switching according to the Irish Examiner

  • Over 25% of all mortgage holders will save over €10,000 by switching
  • It only takes 15 minutes for a mortgage quote

What’s Next – Mortgage Switcher Examples

It makes more sense than ever to compare mortgage rates Ireland 2021 with massive savings available. There probably isn’t another financial decision that has as big an impact on your wallet.

A big thanks to Noel, Naeiri, Murray, Jennifer and Sandra for letting us share their stories.

The non bank lenders ICS, Avant Money and Finance Ireland have really leapt ahead of the pack this year with a 0.5% discount across all mortgage types. This has left the banks, who are weighed down with legacy costs, trailing in their dust.

These non bank lenders are only available via a mortgage broker or via one of our own mortgage sherpas, click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments you can click here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) calculated on a €100,000 loan over 20 years. APRC represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1]

Best Mortgage Protection Insurance Ireland 2022

Mortgage Protection

Our analysis of the best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022 includes all the rates available on the market from the main 5 mortgage protection providers in Ireland. 

Our winner as Best Mortgage Provider Overall is Zurich Life. You can sign up to Zurich here now or read our full market review and other recommendations below.

If you got your protection through your bank or haven’t switched recently you will probably save around €3,600 by switching. As life expectancy has increased life and mortgage protection costs have dropped, a win win for all!

The beauty is you will likely get a better policy, save money and have it all done and dusted in less than 20 minutes. We have the best tools, the best experts and aren’t tied to any provider. So read on to get the full lowdown on how much you could save.

  1. 4 Things to Look Out for When Picking the Best Mortgage Protection – Best Mortgage Protection Ireland 2022
  2. Our best mortgage protection by type – Best Mortgage Protection Ireland 2022
  3. Best mortgage protection insurance, the verdict – Best Mortgage Protection Ireland 2022

4 things to look out for when picking the best mortgage protection – Best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022

cups

At its core Mortgage Protection Insurance does what it says on the tin. It pays off your outstanding mortgage if you die. That’s why lenders insist you take out a mortgage protection policy before giving you a mortgage in the first place. [1]

If you are in good health a competitive policy on typical mortgage of around €200,000 should come out at around the €20 a month mark.

That said all sorts of bells and whistles can be tacked on by providers to jack up the price and if you got your mortgage protection from the bank when you took out your mortgage you will definitely be paying over the odds.

Providers will quote you the non discounted price or try to up sell you to a full life insurance package that insures more than your mortgage, when most people only want no frills mortgage protection.

So apart from the rate, what does matter when you are picking your mortgage protection?

Dual Mortgage Protection Insurance

Unlike some of the other add ons, dual mortgage protection can make a lot of sense for most couples.

If you have a standard single or joint protection policy, only the mortgage gets cleared if you both die. If you have a Dual policy however, you get two payments. One to clear the mortgage the other to your remaining family.

The reason that this makes sense is that the cost of a Dual policy is only slightly more than a Single/Joint policy. So if you were thinking about a life policy anyway to pass on something to the kids this can be a very cost effective way to do it.

Conversion Option or Guaranteed Insurability

One big trap to avoid with life insurance is that after a health scare, premiums rocket or you may not be able to get insured at all.

Think of a Conversion and Guaranteed Insurability options as get out of jail free cards if this happens.

With a conversion option at some point in the future you can turn your mortgage protection policy into a full life insurance policy without having to answer any medical questions.

Guaranteed Insurability works a similar way. You can increase your cover without having to answer any health questions on special occasions such as:

  • A new mortgage – remember you can always switch mortgage so can do this at will
  • The birth of a child
  • A new marriage

New Ireland, Royal London and Zurich offer a conversion option and everyone will offer Guaranteed Insurability. Again either option costs a little more, but having one of these in place to secure a ‘get out of jail free card’ is almost certainly worth it on balance.

Mortgage Protection Premium Waiver

This one is unique to Zurich, they will pay your Mortgage Protection if your injured or too incapacitated to work for more than 13 weeks.

If you are on a lower premium then I’d probably wouldn’t weigh this too heavily, but if you have a very large mortgage or health issues it might provide a welcome parachute option.

Underwriting Approach

If you’re as fit as a fiddle this doesn’t make much difference, but if you have any health conditions or family history then knowing which provider is most likely to underwrite your policy becomes the single most important thing.

That’s where talking to a broker who can match you with the best provider for you really makes sense. Brokers are matching customers with providers all the time and know which providers are likely to give you the best combination of approval odds and price.

The good news is most brokers are free to use as they are paid for by the lender. Make sure they aren’t tied to a particular provider though so can give you the best deal in the market.

Provider BenefitsIrish LifeNew IrelandAvivaZurichRoyal London
Conversion OptionXYXYY
Guaranteed InsurabilityYYYYY
Waiver of PremiumXXXYX
Underwriting ApproachFairGoodFairTightTight

Our Best Mortgage Protection Ireland 2022 by Type – Best Mortgage Protection Insurance Ireland 2022

So what is the best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022?

Here’s our recommendations.

  • Best overall mortgage protection insurance – Zurich Life
  • Best no frills mortgage protection insurance – Royal London
  • Best for those with pre-existing health issues – New Ireland

Here’s how the ratings broke down in each of our categories, the key data for the best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022 and the key reasons we selected each category winner.

Best Mortgage Protection Ireland overall – Best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022

moneysherpa recommended
Best Overall
ProviderBenefitsUnderwritingPriceOverall
Zurich LifeBestBottom 2Top 2Excellent

If you’re in good shape and looking for good value while still getting the key benefits look no further than the Zurich Mortgage Protection Insurance product

Zurich’s mortgage protection has the strongest line up of benefits across all the providers offering all three of the key benefits.

  • Conversion option
  • Guaranteed Insurability
  • Waiver of Premium

Crucially Zurich’s Mortgage Protection offering also scored strongly on price, neck and neck with Royal London’s Mortgage Protection product.

This combination of strong benefits and good value saw Zurich clinch moneysherpa’s top spot as best Mortgage protection provider overall Ireland 2022.

If the extra benefits Zurich offer aren’t for you or you think an existing health condition may make getting mortgage protection difficult read on for our other recommendations.

Best No Frills Mortgage Protection Insurance – Best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022

recommended
ProviderBenefitsUnderwritingPriceOverall
Royal LondonAverageBottom 2Number 1Good

If you aren’t that bothered about the extra benefits of the Zurich Life Mortgage Protection package and just want a rock bottom price then we recommend Royal London’s Mortgage Protection Insurance.

Royal London consistently provide some of the keenest pricing in the market, even edging out Zurich Life our overall recommendation.

If you aren’t that worried about covering the costs of future health risks then Royal London’s Mortgage Protection offering fits the bill perfectly.

Best Mortgage Protection for Existing Health Conditions – Best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022

recommended
ProviderBenefitsUnderwritingPriceOverall
New IrelandGoodBestBottom 2Good

If you have personal or family health conditions that are likely to be flagged up as part of the mortgage protection health questionnaire, your first priority is to get approved with price and benefits slipping down the pecking order.

A broker will be able to give you the best steer on which provider is likely to suit you best in this case, but generally the more expensive providers tend to have more sympathetic underwriting approaches.

Of these New Ireland is the pick of the pack, with pricing that’s still not the worst out there, supportive underwriting and decent benefits.

Best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022, the Verdict

Whether you are looking for no frills, flexible underwriting or big benefits, we hope this article helped you cut through the fog around mortgage protection in Ireland and help you choose the best mortgage protection insurance Ireland 2022.

The mortgage protection policy you have can make a huge difference to your wallet, in the middle of buying a home many don’t give it much thought and then pay over the odds for years.

Overall, the Zurich Mortgage Protection Insurance offering came clearly out on top as the overall best mortgage protection product. Establishing a big lead in the ratings with their market leading benefits and competitive pricing.

For those looking for no frills we recommend Royal London and for those who need a flexible underwriting approach New Ireland.

Overall you can expect to save over €3,600 by switching your existing provider to one of our recommended providers. Even if you are on one of the providers currently you will still probably save as premiums have come down generally.

You can get a free quote on your own mortgage protection savings from our partner DFP here, it takes less than 20 minutes to switch.

If you want to know more about switching your mortgage you can click here. You can read our founders recent piece for extra.ie on the big mortgage switch we are seeing in Ireland right now here.

Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.

Bank of Ireland Mortgage Ultimate Review Ireland 2022

Bank of Ireland Mortgage

A Bank of Ireland Mortgage has always been a popular choice for Irish home buyers, but is a BoI mortgage good value? In our Bank of Ireland Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on all things BoI mortgage and what your options and alternatives are.

Permanent TSB Mortgage

With Bank of Ireland being one of the Irish ‘pillar banks’ getting a BoI mortgage has always felt like a safe mortgage option for many.

Digging a little deeper though Bank of Ireland Mortgage rates right now are the highest in the market and there are better options for most people to choose.

As a bank that has to support a substantial branch network and expensive legacy tracker mortgages, BoI have the highest rates in the market, with only PTSB and EBS coming close to the banks high mortgage rates.

In the introductory fixed rate period you will end up paying around 1.5% more than with some other lenders and after that period the difference is even larger with Bank of Ireland charging rates of 3.7%-4.1% on their ‘follow on’ variable rates compared to 2.03%-2.25% with others.

Bank of Ireland do offer more in cash back, a once off payment when the mortgage is drawn down, than most other lenders, but what they give in cash back is way less than what they take with the higher introductory and follow on interest rates.

The difference in interest rates might not seem that much at first, but it really mounts up over the course of a mortgage term.

Read on to get all the facts and figures on how much seemingly cash back offers really cost you and what better alternatives are available.

You can check out how a Bank of Ireland mortgage compares to others using our calculator here.

Read on to find out if a Bank of Ireland mortgage makes sense for you and the other options for a great rate and easy approval.

  1. BoI Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  2. Pro’s & Con’s – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  3. Recommendation – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  4. Alternatives – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  5. In a Nutshell – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

BoI Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

BoI Mortgage Product

Bank of Ireland are selective about what they lend for.

  • They offer residential mortgages of more than €100,000 only, including first time buyers, home movers, buy to let and switchers.
  • Bank of Ireland also offer staged payment self build mortgages.
  • They do not offer mortgages to people moving to Ireland from abroad.

They will also do top up mortgages for home improvements.

Bank of Ireland Mortgage Approval Credit Policy

Bank of Ireland has a reputation for being pretty flexible when it comes to their credit policy. The higher rates they charge seem to give their credit teams a bit more room to move than most. That said though, if you are have a more shaky or unusual credit history Finance Ireland are also a good option, without the gold plated price tag.

One thing to watch out for though is over recent years the time taken to approve a loan has extended to a couple of weeks a more, which can be a problem if you need your money in a hurry get hold of your dream home.

Unlike Avant Money they will allow you to borrow more than 3.5 times your income if you can show you have sufficient disposable income. These mortgages are known as ‘exceptions’ as they are exceptions to the Central Bank lending limits.

BOI Mortgage Rate

In the 3 year fixed rate mortgage comparison table below the Bank of Ireland mortgage comes out dead last, but unlike some of the other lenders they will give you 2% of your mortgage loan back when you draw down your loan as well as a further 1% after 5 years.

3 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.03%2.03%2.06%2.23%2.25%
ICS Mortgages2.78%2.78%2.80%3.03%3.06%
Finance Ireland3.03%3.17%3.19%3.19%3.44%
Haven Mortgages3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%
AIB2.72%2.91%2.91%3.09%3.09%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Permanent TSB3.57%3.57%3.67%3.67%3.71%
Bank of Ireland3.7%3.7%3.7%4.1%4.1%
4 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.02%2.02%2.06%2.23%2.23%
Haven Mortgages* 2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%
AIB2.77%2.95%2.95%3.13%3.13%
Permanent TSB3.14%3.14%3.24%3.24%3.39%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Bank of Ireland**3.3%3.3%3.4%3.5%3.7%
*Green Rate **Over €250,000 Rate

The Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1] You can check out the APRC of all the mortgages currently on the market using our comparison tool here.

The reason the APRC, and therefore the cost of the mortgage, are so high for Bank of Ireland isn’t in fact the cash back element, but the very high follow on rate after the introductory period as you can see in the table below.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

Bank of Ireland Cash Back

So how does the cash back offer stack up against those super high interest rates?

Cash back can come in really handy to pay solicitor fees etc.. and the first few years after moving in are when you are often most hard pressed financially, so is often tempting. As you can see Bank of Ireland’s cash back option looks like the most generous in the market.

Compare
Cash back
Cash back MinCash back MaxCash back conditions
Avant Money€0€1,500Switcher from Ulster bank or KBC only
KBC€1,500€3,000Min = FTB/Mover non Exceptions
Max = Switchers
Haven€0€2,000Switcher only
AIB€0€2,000Switcher only
Permanent TSB0%2%2% not available to 4 year fixed term.
EBS2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years
Bank of Ireland2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years

In fact the whole cash back thing is a bit of a rip off in our view, so to be treated with care. A quick example might help illustrate why we think so.

If you take an average mortgage loan of €200,000 over 25 years, at a loan to value of 80% with a PTSB 3 year fixed rate you will pay €1,066.75 on average per month, with Avant Money’s 3 year product that would be €870 a month, €196.75 a month cheaper.

So over 25 years that’s €58,940 less than with BoI in interest.

The cash back on the other hand is worth

  • 2% of the €200,000 = €4,000
  • 1% of the €200,000 after 5 years = €2,000
  • A total of 6,000

That’s over 52 grand more expensive, taking massive amounts of cash out of your pocket in repayments.

If you don’t need the cash back to cover legal fees etc.. then we would recommend the Avant Money or ICS mortgages, however if you do then KBC are the best of the rest. Based on current rates they offer a lot better value than EBS, Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland which also offer cash back.

Pro’s & Con’s – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Pro’s

  • The best cash back offering in the market

Con’s

  • Avant Money & ICS offer much better fixed rates
  • Follow on rates are the highest in the market and will cost you thousands
moneysherpa recommended

Recommendation – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Due to the uncompetitive introductory and follow rates the only reason to get a Bank of Ireland right now would be if you are considering switching multiple times to cash in on the cash back before switching out to avoid the super high follow on rates. We don’t recommend this option though as we have covered in our switching article here.

If you need a cash back option to cover legal fees we would recommend KBC as their follow on rates are much lower. If you can afford to cover the legal fees yourself though, you are better off looking at Avant Money or ICS as the long term savings will out weigh the cash back saving pretty quickly.

If you can get a mortgage with Avant Money, ICS or Finance Ireland that’s a much smarter option than going with Bank of Ireland.

You can a free mortgage check up to see what provider will suit you here.

Alternatives – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

In a Nutshell – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Bank of Ireland rely on customer inertia and their brand as the oldest bank in Ireland to charge more than any other provider in the market.

If you got platinum levels of service in return then maybe that would make sense, but BoI are actually one of the hardest lenders to deal with, due to layers of unnecessary paperwork and slow turn around times.

Our recommendation is stay away, even if you are an existing customer and might be thinking better the devil you know, it’s not worth flushing thousands of Euro down the toilet in sky high interest payments.

If you can get a mortgage with Avant Money, ICS or Finance Ireland that’s a much smarter option than going with Bank of Ireland.

Avant Money, ICS Mortgages and Finance Ireland are available through brokers or through one our mortgage sherpas.

Next Steps – Bank of Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about long term fixed rate mortgages you can read our article here.

You can read our founder’s latest piece for extra.ie on the big mortgage switch and how much you will save here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

New €1,500 offer for Ulster KBC Switching to Avant Money

Avant Money Mortgage Ireland 2021
ulster kbc switching

Ulster KBC switching. Avant Money are offering €1,500 upfront for anyone switching their mortgage from Ulster Bank or KBC. The offer is available until the 31st of March and targets customers thinking of switching from Ulster & KBC as both exit the Irish market this year.

Ulster Bank have sold their existing mortgages to PTSB and KBC to Bank of Ireland. This means if you have a mortgage with either you and your mortgage will transfer.

Higher Rates on the Way for Ulster and KBC customers? – Ulster KBC Switching

PTSB and Bank of Ireland have the highest mortgage rates in the market so many Ulster and KBC customers are considering switching to a different lender. If you are in your fixed rate period then PTSB and Bank of Ireland will have to honour those rates, but after that they could choose to hike rates increasing your monthly repayments.

You can see how much higher PTSB and Bank of Ireland rates are in the table below.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

Free Switching Costs – Ulster KBC Switching

Switching costs are usually around €1,500 for solicitor and valuation fees combined, so this offer will make switching from Ulster and KBC effectively free.

At moneysherpa for example we offer an all in legal package including all outlays for €1,200 including VAT, while estate agent valuation fees are typically around €200. So €1,400 all in.

Example Switching Saving – Ulster KBC Switching

So a typical KBC mortgage customer on their 4.25% variable rate, with €172,000 remaining over 16 years would save €187 a month and €35,983 over their remaining term. The repayment calculation is based on switching to Avant Money’s 5 Year fixed rate and using the switching offer to cover their upfront costs.

3 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.03%2.03%2.06%2.23%2.25%
ICS Mortgages2.78%2.78%2.80%3.03%3.06%
Finance Ireland3.03%3.17%3.19%3.19%3.44%
Haven Mortgages3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%
AIB2.72%2.91%2.91%3.09%3.09%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Permanent TSB3.57%3.57%3.67%3.67%3.71%
Bank of Ireland3.7%3.7%3.7%4.1%4.1%
4 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.02%2.02%2.06%2.23%2.23%
Haven Mortgages* 2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%
AIB2.77%2.95%2.95%3.13%3.13%
Permanent TSB3.14%3.14%3.24%3.24%3.39%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Bank of Ireland**3.3%3.3%3.4%3.5%3.7%
*Green Rate **Over €250,000 Rate

If you are with KBC or Ulster and not on a tracker, the new Avant Money €1,500 switching offer means you will probably save over €20,000 without having to pay any upfront fees.

Next Steps – Ulster KBC Switching

Ulster and KBC have been bought out by the banks with the highest mortgage rates in the State, PTSB and Bank of Ireland, so now is a good time to switch to avoid higher rates down the line.

You can book a free appointment to check out if you would save here.

Permanent TSB Mortgage Ultimate Review Ireland 2022

PTSB

A Permanent TSB Mortgage has always been a popular choice for Irish home buyers, but is a PTSB mortgage good value? In our Permanent TSB Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on all things PTSB mortgage and what your options and alternatives are.

Permanent TSB Mortgage

With Permanent TSB being one of the Irish ‘pillar banks’ getting a Permanent TSB mortgage has always felt like a safe mortgage option for many.

Digging a little deeper though PTSB Mortgage rates right now are actually some of the highest in the market and there are better options for most people to choose.

As a bank that has to support a substantial branch network and expensive legacy tracker mortgages, PTSB have the second highest rates in the market, with only Bank of Ireland charging more.

In the introductory fixed rate period you will end up paying around 1.5% more than with some other lenders and after that period the difference is even larger with PTSB charging rates of 3.57%-3.71% on their ‘follow on’ variable rates compared to 2.03%-2.25% with others.

PTSB do offer more in cash back, a once off payment when the mortgage is drawn down, than most other lenders, but what they give in cash back is way less than what they take with the higher introductory and follow on interest rates.

The difference in interest rates might not seem that much at first, but it really mounts up over the course of a mortgage term.

Read on to get all the facts and figures on how much seemingly cash back offers really cost you and what better alternatives are available.

You can check out how a Permanent TSB mortgage compares to others using our calculator here.

Read on to find out if a PTSB mortgage makes sense for you and the other options for a great rate and easy approval.

  1. PTSB Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  2. Pro’s & Con’s – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  3. Recommendation – Permanent TSB Mortgage Mortgages Review Ireland 2022
  4. Alternatives – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022
  5. In a Nutshell – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

PTSB Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

PTSB Mortgage Product

Permanent TSB are selective about what they lend for.

  • They offer residential mortgages of more than €100,000 only, including first time buyers, home movers, buy to let and switchers.
  • PTSB also offer staged payment self build mortgages.
  • They do not offer mortgages to people moving to Ireland from abroad.

They will also do top up mortgages for home improvements.

PTSB Mortgage Approval Credit Policy

Permanent TSB are pretty middle of the road when it comes to their credit policy, the Goldilocks of the banking world, not to strict and not too loose.

One thing to watch out for though is over recent years the time taken to approve a loan has extended to a couple of weeks a more, which can be a problem if you need your money in a hurry get hold of your dream home.

Unlike Avant Money they will allow you to borrow more than 3.5 times your income if you can show you have sufficient disposable income. These mortgages are known as ‘exceptions’ as they are exceptions to the Central Bank lending limits.

PTSB Mortgage Rate

In the 3 year fixed rate mortgage comparison table below the PTSB mortgage comes out in 8th place, but unlike some of the other lenders they will give you 2% of your mortgage loan back when you draw down your loan as well as a further 2% reduction on your repayments if you have their Explorer current account.

3 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.03%2.03%2.06%2.23%2.25%
ICS Mortgages2.78%2.78%2.80%3.03%3.06%
Finance Ireland3.03%3.17%3.19%3.19%3.44%
Haven Mortgages3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%3.0%
AIB2.72%2.91%2.91%3.09%3.09%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Permanent TSB3.57%3.57%3.67%3.67%3.71%
Bank of Ireland3.7%3.7%3.7%4.1%4.1%
4 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.02%2.02%2.06%2.23%2.23%
Haven Mortgages* 2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%
AIB2.77%2.95%2.95%3.13%3.13%
Permanent TSB3.14%3.14%3.24%3.24%3.39%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Bank of Ireland**3.3%3.3%3.4%3.5%3.7%
*Green Rate **Over €250,000 Rate

A fairer comparison then would be to use PTSB’s 4 year rate with no cash back with an attractive sounding 2.25% fixed rate, that way we are comparing apples with apples.

4 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.02%2.02%2.06%2.23%2.23%
Haven Mortgages* 2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%2.8%
AIB2.77%2.95%2.95%3.13%3.13%
Permanent TSB3.14%3.14%3.24%3.24%3.39%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Bank of Ireland**3.3%3.3%3.4%3.5%3.7%
*Green Rate **Over €250,000 Rate

The Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1] You can check out the APRC of all the mortgages currently on the market using our comparison tool here.

Comparing the 4 year non cash back offer PTSB does move up to 4th place, but that’s mainly because ICS, Finance Ireland and KBC only have 3 & 5 year fixed rates. In fact PTSB only beats the other two lenders EBS and Bank of Ireland as their 4 year products still have cash back.

The reason the APRC, and therefore the cost of the mortgage, are so high for PTSB isn’t in fact the cash back element, but the very high follow on rate after the introductory period as you can see in the table below.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

PTSB Cash Back

So if the non cash back offer isn’t a great deal, how does the cash back offer stack up?

Cash back can come in really handy to pay solicitor fees etc.. and the first few years after moving in are when you are often most hard pressed financially.

Compare
Cash back
Cash back MinCash back MaxCash back conditions
Avant Money€0€1,500Switcher from Ulster bank or KBC only
KBC€1,500€3,000Min = FTB/Mover non Exceptions
Max = Switchers
Haven€0€2,000Switcher only
AIB€0€2,000Switcher only
Permanent TSB0%2%2% not available to 4 year fixed term.
EBS2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years
Bank of Ireland2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years

PTSB also offer a 2% discount on each repayment for the next 5 years if you have the Explorer current account, but this discount isn’t worth very much in real terms.

In fact the whole cash back thing is a bit of a rip off in our view, to give a quick example.

If you take an average mortgage loan of €200,000 over 25 years, at a loan to value of 80% with a PTSB 3 year fixed rate you will pay €1,019 on average per month, with Avant Money’s 3 year product that would be €870 a month, €149 a month cheaper.

So over 25 years that’s €44,788 less than with PTSB in interest.

The cash back on the other hand is worth

  • 2% of each repayment until 2027 = €1,223
  • 2% of the €200,000 = €4,000
  • A total of €5,223

That’s over 39 grand more expensive….

If you don’t need the cash back to cover legal fees etc.. then we would recommend the Avant Money or ICS mortgages, however if you do then KBC are the best of the rest. Based on current rates they offer a lot better value than EBS, Permanent TSB and Bank of Ireland which also offer cash back.

Pro’s & Con’s – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Pro’s

  • Good cash back offering

Con’s

  • Avant Money & ICS offer better fixed rates
  • Follow on rates are some of the highest in the market
moneysherpa recommended

Recommendation – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Due to the uncompetitive introductory and follow rates the only reason to get a PTSB Mortgage right now would be if you are considering switching multiple times to cash in on the cash back before switching out to avoid the super high follow on rates. We don’t recommend this option though as we have covered in our switching article here.

If you need a cash back option to cover legal fees we would recommend KBC as their follow on rates are much lower. If you can afford to cover the legal fees yourself though, you are better off looking at Avant Money or ICS as the long term savings will out weigh the cash back saving pretty quickly.

You can a free mortgage check up to see what provider will suit you here.

Alternatives – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

In a Nutshell – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Although PTSB have led the mortgage market on value in the past, right now the new market entrants are a much better deal.

True they are still much cheaper than Bank of Ireland, but even if you don’t want to use one of the new lenders AIB or their broker arm Haven offer much better value right across the board.

The reality though is the new lenders Avant Money, ICS and Finance Ireland who are able to compete without expensive branch networks or tracker mortgages are a much better bet. If you can go with one of these lenders you should.

Avant Money, ICS Mortgages and Finance Ireland are available through brokers or through one our mortgage sherpas.

Next Steps – Permanent TSB Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about long term fixed rate mortgages you can read our article here.

You can read our founder’s latest piece for extra.ie on the big mortgage switch and how much you will save here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

Finance Ireland Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022

FinanceIreland

Finance Ireland have some of the best rates on the market are backed by the National Treasury Management Agency and headed by the ex PTSB boss Billy Kane. In our Finance Ireland Mortgages Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we will give you the inside track on a Finance Ireland mortgage and what other options are available.

Finance Ireland Mortgage Review

As someone who used to lead the mortgage product team in PTSB I’ve kept a close eye on Finance Ireland’s entry into the mortgage market.

As a new entrant, unlike the Irish banks they aren’t weighed down by the costs of the tracker mortgages offered in the boom This has allowed them to undercut the Irish banks and offer some of the very best rates on the market.

  • Finance Ireland’s Short and Medium term fixed rate products are third place for value in the market behind Avant Money and ICS, but under cutting all the Irish banks by some margin.
  • Finance Ireland’s Long term fixed rates from 15 years + are the only option if you aren’t eligible for an Avant Money one mortgage and are very competitive.

Finance Ireland are competitive, but their trump card is their flexible credit policy. As well as their standard ‘progress’ rates they also offer a ‘progress plus’ product with lower barriers to mortgage approval.

The key takeaway is that if you are worried about approval going to a broker who has Finance Ireland on their books might be a smart move. You can see how a Finance Ireland mortgage repayment compare to the others in the market for your mortgage here.

Read on to find out if a Finance Ireland mortgage makes sense for you and the other options for a great rate and easy approval.

Finance Ireland Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Pro’s & Con’s – Finance Ireland Mortgages Review Ireland 2022

Recommendation – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Alternatives – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

In a Nutshell – Finance Ireland Mortgages Review Ireland 2022

Finance Ireland Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Finance Ireland Mortgage Approval Types

As well as offering mortgages nationwide Finance Ireland also offer a wide range of mortgage types.

  • They offer residential mortgages of more than €50,000-€1,250,000 in Dublin and €750,000 elsewhere.
  • They include first time buyers, home movers, buy to let, self employed, top up and switcher mortgages.
  • They do not offer staged payment self build mortgages.

Finance Ireland Mortgage Approval Credit Policy

This is where Finance Ireland have the edge, they are the only lender in the market offering what is know as ‘risk based pricing’. This means they will take some cases others wouldn’t, but for a higher fee.

Their standard product is ‘progress’ with introductory rates from 2.25% which matches up reasonably well to the market leading rate of 1.95%.

The more flexible ‘progress plus’ products start from 3.2%, this is a hefty premium over the market leaders, but it may be the only path buying their own home for some.

If you are looking for more flexible credit solution, then you might consider the ‘Progress Plus’ product, where you pay an increased rate, but have lower barriers to entry. You can check out the difference between the two in our handy table below.

Progress v Progress Plus60% LTV70% LTV80% LTV90% LTV
Fixed TermRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRC
Progress Plus 3 Years3.20%3.31%3.20%3.34%3.20%3.56%3.35%3.82%
Progress 3 Years2.25%2.80%2.25%2.82%2.3%2.82%2.65%3.07%
Progress Plus 5 Years3.35%3.37%3.35%3.40%3.35%3.56%3.50%3.80%
Progress 5 Years 2.30%2.71%2.35%2.73%2.35%2.73%2.80%3.05%
FINANCE IRELAND RATES (APRC calculated on €100K loan, 30 years, valuation of €185, security release €40)

As you can see the Progress Plus in 0.5% to 1% more expensive than the Progress, but if you need it to get a mortgage then it is a great option.

Progress Plus may be a good fit for you if

  • You have just started your own business, with applications considered after 12 months
  • You have previous arrears on unsecured loans more than two years ago and on secured loans more than 4 years ago.

They also allow you to borrow more than 3.5 times your income. These mortgages are known as ‘exceptions’ as they are exceptions to the Central Bank lending limits.

Finance Ireland Mortgage Rate

Finance Ireland offer two types of fixed mortgage rate. Short/Medium 3, 5 & 7 year fixed rates and Long term 10, 15, 20, 25 year fixed rates.

In the short term fixed rate mortgage comparison table below the Finance Ireland mortgage performs well coming in behind Avant Money and ICS. Check out our comparison across all 3 year fixed rates below.

3 Year Fixed
APRC Comparison
up to
50% LTV
up to
60% LTV
up to
70% LTV
up to
80% LTV
up to
90% LTV
Avant Money2.03%2.03%2.06%2.23%2.25%
ICS Mortgages2.38%2.38%2.42%2.63%2.68%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages3.1%3.1%3.1%3.1%3.1%
AIB2.71%2.90%2.90%3.08%3.08%
KBC3.03%3.03%3.08%3.08%3.28%
EBS3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%3.5%
Permanent TSB3.57%3.57%3.67%3.67%3.71%
Bank of Ireland3.7%3.7%4.7%4.1%4.1%

In particular rates at the lower LTV’s and for the longer fixed rate of 7 years are almost the same as the market leader, as our comparison table versus the market leader Avant Money makes clear.

Short/Medium Term v Market Leader60% LTV70% LTV80% LTV90% LTV
Fixed TermRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRC
Avant Money 3 Years1.95%2.03%2.05%2.06%2.15%2.23%2.2%2.25%
Finance Ireland 3 Years2.25%2.80%2.25%2.82%2.3%2.82%2.65%3.07%
Avant Money 5 Years1.95%2.02%2.05%2.06%2.15%2.22%2.2%2.25%
Finance Ireland 5 Years 2.30%2.71%2.35%2.73%2.35%2.73%2.80%3.05%
Avant Money 7 Years1.95%2.01%2.05%2.07%2.15%2.21%2.25%2.28%
Finance Ireland 7 Years2.30%2.71%2.35%2.73%2.35%2.73%2.80%3.05%
FINANCE IRELAND RATES (APRC calculated on €100K loan, 30 years, valuation of €185, security release €40)

If you are going to pick a short term fixed rate it is important to consider the variable or ‘follow on’ rate of your provider as this will be the rate you will be on for the majority of the time.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.50%2.50%2.50%2.75%2.75%
ICS Mortgages2.65%2.70%2.70%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

Finance Ireland has a pretty healthy follow on rate the third best in the market and almost 1% lower than the Irish banks, so they are a pretty good choice.

On the longer term rates Avant Money’s ‘One Mortgage’ has the edge on rate over Finance Ireland, beating their offering on all the rates below. However, on the 25 yr rate Finance Ireland are really competitive. If you can’t get the Avant Money rate then these long term rates offer great value versus current bank rates and protect your repayments if rates rise.

Long Term60% LTV70% LTV80% LTV90% LTV
Fixed TermRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRCRateAPRC
Avant Money to 15yr2.25%2.29%2.40%2.44%2.50%2.54%2.65%2.70%
Finance Ireland to 15yr 2.40%2.63%2.65%2.73%2.65%2.73%2.85%2.93%
Avant Money to 20 yr2.45%2.49%2.60%2.65%2.60%2.65%2.75%2.80%
Finance Ireland to 20yr 2.50%2.55%2.65%2.71%2.75%2.81%2.95%3.02%
Avant Money to 25yr2.65%2.70%2.80%2.85%2.90%2.95%2.99%3.05%
Finance Ireland to 25yr2.65%2.71%2.80%2.86%2.90%2.96%2.99%3.06%
FINANCE IRELAND RATES (APRC calculated on €100K loan, 30 years, valuation of €185, security release €40)

These long term mortgages are very common in continental Europe and extremely attractive if you want absolute certainty about how much you will pay for the whole length of your mortgage term. We believe these longer term fixed rates offer an incredible combination of security and value.

Both Avant Money and Finance Ireland have introduced flexibility features allowing overpayments, capping exit fees and allowing home moving. The Finance Ireland product is also the slightly more flexible of the two and these features have made this product a real option for many for the first time.

Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1] You can check out the APRC of all the mortgages currently on the market using our comparison tool here.

Pro’s & Con’s – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Pro’s

  • Attractive fixed rates
  • Good value ‘follow on’ or Variable rates
  • Only one of two providers offering up to 25 year fixed rates which ‘lock in’ current low fixed rates
  • Will give approval when others won’t with Progress Plus

Con’s

  • For most rates and customers Avant Money offers better value
recommended

Recommendation – Finance Ireland Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

For most customers Avant Money will beat Finance Ireland for value. That said, at lower LTV’s and higher fixed terms there really isn’t much between them.

Where Finance Ireland really shine though is when you can’t get the current market leader Avant Money. If you have some skeletons in your credit cupboard or just struck out with a new venture then Finance Ireland might literally be your only way home.

You can check out if you can get an Finance Ireland mortgage here.

Alternatives – Finance Ireland Mortgages Review Ireland 2022

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.29% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tight approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.29% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-7 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

In a Nutshell – Finance Ireland Mortgages Review Ireland 2022

The non bank lenders Avant Money, ICS Mortgages and Finance Ireland offer the best combination of rates and approval flexibility for most people looking for a mortgage.

Rates with these lenders are typically 30% lower than the banks as they aren’t carrying the cost of supporting tracker mortgage customers.

Of the non bank lenders Avant Money currently lead the pack, offering the best overall package of rates in the market. If you can get an Avant Money mortgage, you should. If not Finance Ireland could be your best way home, literally.

Avant Money, ICS Mortgages and Finance Ireland are available through brokers or through one our mortgage sherpas.

Next Steps – Finance Ireland Mortgages Review Ireland 2022

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about longer term fixed rates, you can check out our deep dive best fixed rate mortgage piece here or how fixed versus variable compares here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here and our remortgaging guide here. If you still have questions check out our switching Q&A here.

If you are thinking of freeing up some extra cash from your home, take a look at our mortgage top up tips here or if you are over 55 our equity release rundown here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here, covering not only the best rate, but also helping choose the lender most likely to approve you and helping take the pain out of the paperwork.

Ulster Bank Mortgage Ultimate Review Ireland 2022

Ulster Logo


With Ulster bank withdrawing from the market and selling up, what does it mean if you have or are thinking of getting a Ulster bank mortgage? In our Ulster bank Mortgage Ultimate Review – Ireland 2022 we give you the inside track on an Ulster bank mortgage and what your options are.

Ulster bank Mortgage

Ulster Bank parent Natwest has decided it is pulling out of the Irish market, this means Ulster bank will be no longer offering mortgages to new customers.

So you might be thinking, what happens to my Ulster Bank Mortgage?

Although it’s not all done and dusted yet it looks very likely that Ulster Bank will sell their on-going mortgage business to Permanent TSB.

So don’t panic, if you have a mortgage with Ulster Bank already already PTSB will have to honour your existing terms.

Where we could see changes though is in the rate existing customers go to at the end of their fixed period. Permanent TSB have the second highest rates in the market and many fear that longer term current Ulster Bank mortgage holders will see their rates rise from where they are today.

Avant Money are offering €1,500 upfront until the 31st of March 2022 for anyone wanting to make the switch to them. This should cover both the legal and valuation costs of the switch with some change to spare.

moneysherpa offers an all in switching legal package for just €1,200 and a typical valuation is around €200.

If you come off your fixed rate with Ulster Bank and are worried that PTSB are going to hike your rates, you still have the option to switch to someone else at that point. You can check out how your Ulster Bank mortgage compares to others using our calculator here.

Read on to find out more about your Ulster Bank mortgage and the other options for a great rate and easy approval.

  1. Ulster Bank Mortgage Rate and Product Overview – Ulster Bank Mortgages Review Ireland 2021
  2. Recommendation – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2021
  3. Alternatives – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2021
  4. In a Nutshell – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2021

Ulster Bank Mortgage Rate and Product Overview -Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Ulster Bank Mortgage Rate

Our handy table shows what rates you will pay with each of the lenders when you come off your fixed rate, this is know as the ‘follow on’ rate.

As you can see Ulster bank have some of the highest rates interest rates in the market and the bad news is the bank that looks to set to buy them PTSB is one of the few with even higher rates.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

The follow on rate is the rate that drives the Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) which represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1] You can check out the APRC of all the mortgages currently on the market using our comparison tool here.

If you have a current account with Ulster Bank you may be on their ‘loyalty’ product which has a rate around 0.3% lower than the Ulster Bank rates shown above. Even with that discount though you would save by switching to the six cheaper providers shown in the table.

If you have an Ulster bank mortgage now is a good time to switch, rates are at all time lows. An average size switcher can expect to save at least €20,000 by switching.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is recommended-1024x1024.jpg

Recommendation – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Ulster Bank have one of the most expensive variable rates in the country and with their sale to PTSB underway those rates are unlikely to get any better, in fact they may be about to get worse.

The good news though is that with the entry of non bank lenders ICS, Avant Money and Finance Ireland, rates are at historic lows. This means you can save over €20,000 on average by switching to another provider.

Switching legal fees are currently around €1,500. Even better if you use moneysherpa to switch and take up their all in switching deal for €1,200 including VAT you will maximise your savings.

It’s very hard to make a case for staying with Ulster Bank unless you are locked in on one of their fixed rate products, even then ask them about the breakage fee. Sometimes due to EU consumer law there will be no fees at all and you can still switch to a better rate with another bank.

You can a free mortgage check up to see who you should switch to here.

Alternatives – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.01% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.29% APRC
  • Fixed for 3 or 5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

Next Steps – Ulster Bank Mortgage Review Ireland 2022

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about long term fixed rate mortgages you can read our article here.

You can read our founder’s latest piece for extra.ie on the big mortgage switch and how much you will save here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

How Long Does Mortgage Approval Take & How Do I Get Pre-Approval Now – Ireland 2022

htb 4 1 edited
How long does mortgage approval take ireland

Buying a home is probably the biggest financial decision you will ever make and one of life’s most stressful times. So you are probably super keen to know how long does mortgage approval take and can you get pre-approval or approval in principle like yesterday.

Knowing how mortgage approval and pre-approval works in Ireland can help you secure your dream home and reduce your stress levels.

That’s because how you apply makes a big difference to how much you can borrow and how long the whole process will take.

With our Ultimate Guide to how to mortgage approval Ireland 2022, you could borrow up to 4.5 times your joint income and get the whole thing done and dusted in less than 3 months.

Here’s our top 3 how to get mortgage approval Ireland 2022 tips

  • Maximise your savings in the 6 months before you apply to maximise what you can borrow
  • Understand how best to navigate the mortgage approval process to minimise delay
  • Use a broker with a wide selection of lenders to maximise your mortgage approval odds

Use our tool to get Pre-Approved now below.

If you want to find out more before diving in read on to see understand how you can get mortgage approval and maximise how much you could borrow while minimising the hassle factor.

  1. Work Out How Much You Can Borrow – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022
  2. Maximise My Approval Chances – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022
  3. Get Some Help – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022
  4. What Happens Next – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

Work Out How Much You Can Borrow – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

The first step is to work out how much mortgage you can get, you might not need to borrow up to your limit, but it will help you to understand your maximum budget in case you find yourself in a bidding war for your new gaff.

To help avoid a credit bubble like the one that went pop back in 2008 the Central Bank sets some absolute maximum limits that no lender can go beyond.

If you are buying your home to live in, the limit is the lower of either

  • Income – 4.5 times your joint gross income per year
  • Deposit – 10 times your deposit

Wait a minute before you rush off and bid on that dream home, the Central Bank only allows 20% of all borrowers in any year borrow up to these limits.

The lenders are therefore very picky about who gets these ‘exceptions’ only putting forward people with squeaky clean credit histories and very high levels of disposable income.

If you fall outside the top 20% of applications then the limits are

  • Income – 3.5 times your joint gross income per year
  • Deposit – 10 times your deposit for first time buyers and 5 time for others

As part of the application process the lenders will also run the rule over your ability to repay the loan. Based on this they may lend you less than the limits above or indeed nothing at all.

For most people the 3.5 times salary limit is the one that applies and gives the best idea of your budget. However if you need an exception to make up the numbers or want to maximise your odds of approval you can use our instant Approval In Principle (AIP) tool below.

Our tool runs the numbers based on your income and expenditure and instantly spits out your odds of mortgage approval across the lenders. Even better we will then automatically email you with a provisional Approval In Principle that you can use to view property and start your house hunting!

Maximise My Approval Chances – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

Even if you have enough disposable income for mortgage approval on paper based on our provisional AIP calculator we then have to back this up with evidence.

Lenders try to work out, based on information on your application for what’s know as a full Approval In Principle, the likelihood of you not paying back the mortgage in full. If a loan goes south that’s a big hole in their profits, so the more risk they think you are the less they will lend.

This means you can maximise the mortgage you can get by knowing what they are looking for and getting your finances in shape in advance of mortgage approval.

This is why the question how long does mortgage approval take can have a different answer depending on your circumstances. A switcher can be done in 6 weeks as they have solid proof they can make the repayments, while someone who doesn’t have evidence of spare cash left over might have to wait up to 6 months before even applying.

The 6 months before the application is critical as lenders will look at your bank statements in this period to assess your ability to repay the loan as part of the application.

So what are the key things you can do to maximise your approval chances?

  1. Maximise your Income – Many lenders include 50% of overtime, bonuses and commission, so maximising these can be a big help.
  2. Clear your outstanding loans – These eat into your ability to repay and are usually higher interest than your mortgage will be.
  3. Secure your employment – Make sure you have finished any probation period or have a long term contract.
  4. Don’t splurge – Minimise your outgoings, so you show consistent evidence of saving some money at the end of every month.
  5. Delete your Paddy Power app – Any major spend on online gambling is a big no no and don’t try to be smart by moving it to your Revolut account the lenders are wise to that and will ask for statements.

Keep your nose clean for 6 months and you will demonstrate to the lenders you can be trusted and will maximise your mortgage potential.

Get Some Help – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

So you have 6 months of sparkling clean bank statements and you are sick of living on your mates couch, what do you do next?

You have two choices to kick start the application process.

  1. Apply to one of the lenders directly
  2. Apply to a lender through a broker

Which lender you apply to can make a huge difference to your approval chances and what you will pay over the course of the mortgage. That’s why we recommend using a broker for your application.

A broker can look at your situation and match you with the best lender to maximise your approval chances and minimise your repayments. Brokers are often free to use and are impartial as they get paid the same commission 1% of the mortgage value by all the lenders.

Not all brokers are created equal though. Check out if your broker has:

  • Access to the best lenders for rate Avant Money, ICS, Haven and Finance Ireland
  • No fees or low fees for your type of application
  • An online application process to make the paperwork easier
  • A best rate guarantee

What Happens Next – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

Once you have chosen your broker you can get the application underway.

Mortgage Customer Journey Final

1. Apply Online

First up you will need to confirm your personal and financial details to get your instant Approval In Principle. You can jump right in below to start the process now.

Once you have your provisional approval you can upload supporting documents like your bank statements and proof of identity onto the brokers application platform.

These documents are needed to help prove you can repay the mortgage and also prove you are who you say you are.

2. Choose Mortgage & Lender

Your broker then reviews your details plus documents and recommends the best lender and mortgage product. As each lenders approval policy is different they will match you with the best one for you.

For example, ICS lend more to public servants and is good for short term fixed rates. Avant Money on the other hand don’t do exceptions above the 3.5 salary, but have the best long term fixed rates.

They will also run you through the other options and why they think they aren’t a fit for you at this point.

3. Get Full Approval In Principle (AIP)

Your broker will then use the documents and details you submitted to apply for approval with the rate and lender you picked. It can take 3 days to 3 weeks to get approval depending on the lender you choose (your broker will fill you in on this).

You can now go bid on a property knowing you have an approval in your back pocket!

4. Get Final Loan Offer

Once your offer has been accepted your broker will have it valued by an independent estate agent. This is so the lender can have confidence that the asset that they are securing the lending on (your new house), is worth what you say it is.

Once the lender has all the details on the property from the broker they issue the final offer, which includes any conditions before you can access or ‘drawdown’ the loan. These are usually things like you must have a life protection policy and home insurance in place, which your broker will help you arrange.

5. Complete House Purchase

Ta Da! The moment you have been waiting for, once the conditions are met the loan is released and you get the keys to your new home!

In a Nutshell – How long does mortgage approval take Ireland 2022

How you apply for a mortgage makes a big difference to how much you can lend, how long it takes and your approval chances.

The first thing to do is to work out how much you can borrow and get your provisional AIP, we have a handy mortgage calculator for that here.

Then you need to make sure all your documentation lines up and if needed clean house on your finances for the 6 months before you apply.

You should then engage with a broker who can guide you to the best lender and help take the pain out of the paperwork. You can check out moneysherpa’s own in house broker teams the mortgage sherpas here.

Finally, make sure you know the process and where you are in it, so you can reduce your stress and maximise your chances of getting your dream home.

We have loads more on help to buy grants, the best rates and mortgage provider reviews here.

If you want to have a chat and talk it through you can click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

You can get more detail on the documents required from the CCPC [1].

The €1.5 Billion Mortgage Switch Ireland – Why Switching is the New Black

switch mortgage ireland
Mortgage Switch Ireland 2021

The big mortgage switch Ireland.

More people have completed a mortgage switch this autumn than for a decade. Over 1,616 in Q3 2021, the highest since 2009.

The mortgage switch is back because interest rates have now hit historic lows.

The average saving for a mortgage switch at the end of 2019 was a whopping €21,626. With over 150,000 Irish mortgage holders set to save a staggering €1.5 Billion by switching.

With rates falling and prices rising since 2019, those switching savings have only gotten bigger since then.

Mortgage switching is set to explode in the coming months quadrupling to the rates seen in other countries across Europe and back at the height of the boom.

Read on to get the inside scoop on the big mortgage switch and see exactly what it might mean for you and your mortgage.

  1. Why Mortgage Switching is the New Black – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022
  2. How Much can You Save by Switching Mortgage? – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022
  3. Why isn’t Everyone Switching? – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022
  4. In a Nutshell – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022

Why Mortgage Switching is the New Black – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022

According to the latest figures from the Banking and Payments Federation [1] more people have completed a mortgage switch this autumn, at 1,616, than since 2009 just after the banking crash.

The chart below shows 1% of the 674,176 mortgage holders in Ireland are now switching every year, that’s over 6,700 and it’s only heading one direction.

Annual Switching v Number of Mortgage Holders Ireland
Switching rates since 2014 (Source: BPFI Report Q3 2021)

The mortgage switch is so fashionable right now due to mortgage rates hitting record lows.

  • 2015 Existing Rates 4.3% v New Rates 3.9%
  • 2020 Existing Rates 3.48% v New Rates 2.68%

So back in 2015 a mortgage switch would cut your mortgage rate by 0.40%, but by the end of 2019 the difference had doubled to 0.80%. That makes new rates over 20% cheaper than existing rates, a record saving.

You can see this increase in ‘spread’ in the chart below. The Standard Variable Rate for Existing Loans in green has hardly dropped at all, as the banks have tried to keep their existing customer rates high.

The 1 to 3 year fixed new lending rate in red however has plummeted as new lenders, Avant Money, ICS and Finance Ireland, have entered the market.

Screen Capture
Mortgage Rates (Source: Central Bank of Ireland Economic Letter No.12 2020)

These rates are the lowest since trackers were on the go back in 2008.

This widening rate gap alone is enough to drive increased switching, but increasing house prices have further sweetened the deal. As home values rise the loan to value ratio gets smaller.

Lenders see low loan to value ratios as less risk, allowing customers to access even lower rates.

The mortgage switch double whammy, the widening rate gap and lower loan to values, is creating a switching surge.

How Much can you Save by Switching Mortgage? – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022

So this begs the question, should I switch and how much will I save if I do?

There are over 670,000 residential mortgage holders in Ireland right now, 36% of these are on a tracker mortgage tied to the European Central Bank rate. If you’re on a tracker you almost certainly would be better off staying put.

That leaves the 64% of mortgage holders not on a tracker, which equals over 430,000, 27% of all Irish households.

Almost all of these will save something by switching, even those on a fixed rate, but this is where it gets really juicy.

According to the Central Bank almost 150,000 will save more than €10,000 by switching, a combined saving of over €1.5 Billion. You can see exactly how the 150,000 breaks down below.

Central Bank SwitchingFixedVariableTrackerTotal
All Mortgage Holders171,105259,276243,795674,176
Save something29,082153,1900182,272
Save more than €10,00020,83789,657110,484
Save more than €30,0008,07628,49936,575
Central Bank of Ireland Economic Letter 12 2020

We ran the numbers for an average mortgage switch ourselves, just to be sure.

  • Average mortgage switch = €235,401
  • Average term = 22 years
  • Average reduction in rate = 1%

= An Average Saving of €21,626

Yes you read that right, the average mortgage switch saving was €21,626 according to the Central Bank’s own figures.

Why isn’t Everybody Switching? – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2021

Hang on a minute, shouldn’t mortgage switching be much higher if there is €1.5 Billion to be saved?

It most certainly should, switching in Ireland lags almost all developed countries world wide with only 1% switching every year.

Italy has over four times that rate of switchers at 4.1% and the Aussies see over 8% of their variable rates switched per year. Across the pond in the UK switching rates are also more than double that here.

As the savings between existing and new rates are much bigger than that seen in other countries, what exactly is going on?

Part of the reason is due to tracker mortgages. The super generous terms offered by the Irish banks back in the boom, has led to over a third of all mortgage holders staying put and holding on to what they have for dear life.

The rest of the gap is usually put down to the idea that it’s not in the Irish psychology to switch, we are a nation loyal to a fault. Let me bust that particular myth right here, the data shows the Irish love a great deal as much as anyone.

Remember our first chart showing how we were at record switching levels? Let’s zoom out a little on the data and see the trends if we go back in time a little further.

Annual Switching v Number of Mortgage Holders Ireland 1
Switching Rates since 2003 (Source: BPFI)

That’s right, before the crash mortgage switching in Ireland was running at 4% per year, right up there with other nations.

Due to negative equity and uncompetitive rates in the eight years after the crash Ireland simply got out of the habit of switching. It’s just not been a thing for almost a decade, so has fallen off the radar.

I’ve listed the top 4 reasons for not switching below, based on the latest Central Bank data.

Screen Capture 1
Reasons for not switching (Source: Central Bank)

So what are the answers to each reason?

  1. I do not know what the legal costs of switching would be. Answer: The solicitor cost and a valuation should cost less than €1,500 all in.
  2. I might switch if there was a long term guarantee of interest rate advantage. Answer: With Avant Money for example you can fix your rate for up to 30 yrs.
  3. I do not know if I would save money. Answer: You almost certainly will if you’re not on a tracker.
  4. Switching would be too complex. Answer: Use a broker for both advice and to take the pain out of the paperwork they’re free to use in many cases.

With the barriers falling and savings increasing it’s only a matter of time until we are back up at the 4% mark and mortgage switching is the new big thing.

In a Nutshell – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022

After falling out of fashion the mortgage switch is about to make a comeback.

  • Rates are at record lows and savings at record highs.
  • The average saving is €21,626 massively out weighing the costs of switching
  • You can fix rate anywhere up to 30 years to ‘lock in’ your savings
  • If you use a broker you can switch for free in less than 3 months

The clock is ticking though, with inflation rising to over 5% variable rates will probably start to rise over the next 6 months. By switching to a new lender with a fixed rate of 5-15 years you can make savings of over €10,000 while also protecting your home from increased repayments.

What’s Next – Mortgage Switch Ireland 2022

It makes more sense than ever to compare mortgage rates Ireland 2022 with massive savings available. There probably isn’t another financial decision that has as big an impact on your wallet.

The non bank lenders ICS, Avant Money and Finance Ireland have really leapt ahead of the pack this year offering 0.5% lower than other lenders across all mortgage types. This has left the banks, who are weighed down with legacy costs, trailing in their dust.

These non bank lenders are only available via a mortgage broker or via one of our own mortgage sherpas, click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments you can click here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

Switcher Mortgage Ultimate Guide – Cash Back Hack, 3 Tips to Maximise Your Savings

switcher mortgage
switcher mortgage

We all know switching your mortgage is the biggest thing you can do to save loads of cash, but what if I told you there was a way to make these savings not just once, but four times over.

Sounds too good to be true right? It isn’t if you are prepared to put the effort in. By using the right strategy you can make the absolute most of all the juicy switching offers currently available.

There are nine different mortgage lenders in Ireland right now, with over 250 different mortgages on offer. In this rundown we will recommend the best switcher mortgage short term, the best switcher mortgage for the long term and the best switcher mortgage for multiple switchers.

The right switcher mortgage for you depends on whether you are looking to switch and stick or if you want to switch multiple times.

Based on our review of all 250 switcher mortgages in the market we recommend the following options.

  • Best switcher mortgage short term switching – ICS 3 year Fixed Rate
  • Best switcher mortgage long term switching – Avant Money 15 year Fixed Rate
  • Best switcher mortgage multiple switcher – PTSB Variable Rate

Read on to see which approach is the best fit for you and how much you could save.

If you want to see how different providers compare on your mortgage you can click here.

  1. Multiple Switcher, Cashback Hack – Switcher Mortgage
  2. Long Term Switcher – Switcher Mortgage
  3. Short Term Switcher – Switcher Mortgage
  4. What you should do, the verdict – Switcher Mortgage

Multiple Switch, Cash Back Hack – Switcher Mortgage

Irish Mortgage providers use either introductory fixed rates or once off cashback offers to tempt new customers to switch.

Cashback offers from EBS, PTSB and Bank of Ireland give you 2% of the total mortgage amount back in cash when you take out the mortgage. So on the average switch of €240,000 that’s €4,800 in cash at drawdown as shown below.

Compare
Cashback
Cashback MinCashback Max Cashback conditions
Permanent TSB0%2%2% not available to 4 year fixed term.
EBS2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years
Bank of Ireland2%3%2% on drawdown 1% after 5 years

You should tread carefully though as the rates from these providers are some of the highest in the market. Surprise surprise, as you can see from the table below the highest follow on and variable rates are with the three providers with the cash back offers.

Compare
Follow on Rates
up to
50% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
60% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
70% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
80% LTV
Follow on Rate
up to
90% LTV
Follow on Rate
Avant Money2.00%2.00%2.00%2.20%2.20%
ICS Mortgages2.45%2.45%2.45%2.70%2.70%
Finance Ireland2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
Haven Mortgages2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
AIB2.75%2.95%2.95%2.95%3.15%
KBC3.00%3.00%3.05%3.05%3.3%
Ulster Bank3.50%3.50%3.70%3.70%3.90%
EBS3.30%3.50%3.5%3.50%3.70%
Permanent TSB3.70%3.70%3.70%3.70%3.90%
Bank of Ireland3.90%3.90%4.20%4.20%4.50%
Probable follow on variable rates post fixed period based on current variable rates by provider

If you are prepared to switch multiple times though you can get your hands on the cash back offers without paying the higher on-going rates. One of the few times you can really have you cake and then get to eat it afterward.

So if you take out a variable mortgage with PTSB you can take up the cashback offer, then switch to Bank of Ireland take out another variable rate cashback offer, then EBS for your final variable rate cashback offer.

On the average switcher mortgage of €240,000 that’s

  • €4,800 Cash Back (PTSB)
  • €4,800 Cash Back (BoI)
  • €4,800 Cash Back (EBS)
  • Total Cash = €14,400

Even better when you have picked up your cash from EBS you can then switch to a fixed rate deal through a broker with Avant Money or ICS to get on a low interest rate. This last step is really important as it can save you as much as the multiple switch hack.

Check out our advice on the best longer term low interest rate options below.

Best Long Term Switcher Mortgage – Switcher Mortgage

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is recommended-1024x1024.jpg
ProviderAPRCProductLTVApproval rate
Avant Money2.29%15yr fixed<60%Medium

The Avant Money 15 year fixed rate product has the lowest introductory rate of 1.95% in the market for the first fifteen years, with a market leading APRC over the lifetime of the mortgage of 2.29%.

If you know you staying put and want to lock out future interest rate rises this may be the mortgage for you.

The leading score on rate, whilst not dropping many points on the basis of flexibility, makes the Avant Money 15 year fixed product the best mortgage rate choice overall. 

Best fixed short term mortgage rate – Switcher Mortgage

ProviderAPRCProductLTVApproval rate
ICS Mortgages2.38%3yr fixed<60%High
Avant Money2.39%4yr fixed<60%Medium
Avant Money 2.43%3yr fixed<60%Medium

If you want to save on legacy rates, but want to keep your options open then there are still some good options out there.

The low fixed rate period is shorter so the overall cost of the mortgage is higher, but the mortgage rate across the term is still around 2.5% APRC.

ICS Mortgages pip Avant at the post for the shorter fixed term products due to their more flexible credit policy. However if you have a sparkling credit history the Avant Money 3 year and 4 year fixed at 2.39% & 2.43% respectively are so close it makes no difference.

What You Should Do, the Verdict – Switcher Mortgage

So should you make multiple switches?

Taking the cashback offers and switching multiple times is perfectly legal. As long as you choose a variable rate rather than a fixed rate you aren’t tied in to a minimum period before switching.

You will have to pay solicitors fees though for each switch, these come in at around €1,000 a switch, although many solicitors will knock a bit off for multiple switches if you haggle.

You also need to be prepared to put in the hard yards, although switching is a lot easier than taking out a new mortgage, switching 4 times over isn’t to be taken lightly.

Finally, mortgages are a major financial commitment and can be pretty complex. While your working through your multiple switch master plan, the market might change, the providers conditions might change and your own circumstances might change.

For most people then making the switch once to a lower on-going interest rate is the best policy. You still save thousands without all the hassle and risk of the multi switch strategy.

That’s why we don’t recommend the multi switch strategy. The reality is that although on paper the multi switch strategy makes sense, for most of us life gets in the way and it’s way too much hassle.

That’s why we would recommend using a broker to help you switch to a fixed rate product with a low on-going rate from either Avant Money or ICS. The lenders with the lowest rates can usually only be accessed by brokers, many brokers are free to use and they can take the pain out of the paperwork. The payback might not be as immediate as with the multi switch strategy, but for much less work you will still save thousands and get the best value.

If you are prepared to put in the work and take on the risks involved in a multi switch strategy however, don’t forget to talk to a broker about that final step to switch to a long term lower rate, otherwise you will lose almost all you gained by collecting those cash backs in the first place.

What’s Next – Switcher Mortgage

It makes more sense than ever to compare mortgage rates Ireland 2021 with massive savings available. There probably isn’t another financial decision that has as big an impact on your wallet.

The non bank lenders ICS, Avant Money and Finance Ireland have really leapt ahead of the pack this year with a 0.5% discount across all mortgage types. This has left the banks, who are weighed down with legacy costs, trailing in their dust.

These non bank lenders are only available via a mortgage broker or via one of our own mortgage sherpas, click for a mortgage check up with one of our sherpas here.

Avant Logo
  • Rates from 2.02% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-30 Years
  • Tighter approval policy
ICS Logo
  • Rates from 2.78% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-5 Years
  • Flexible approval policy
Finance Ireland Logo
  • Rates from 2.53% APRC
  • Fixed for 3-25 Years
  • Flexible approval policy

Overall, the Avant Money 15 year fixed rate came clearly out on top as the overall best mortgage rate. With their market leading APRC of 2.29%, which saves an amazing €20,000+ for switchers in most cases. Avant Money’s 7 and 4 year products are also a great choice for those looking for shorter or medium fixed terms.

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments you can click here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here.

Annual Percentage Rate Charge (APRC) calculated on a €100,000 loan over 20 years. APRC represents the average rate across the lifetime of a typical mortgage and is recommended as the best rate to use for comparisons by the CCPC. [1]

Help to buy scheme Ireland 2022- What it is and how you could claim €30,000

Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2021
Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022

The Help to Buy Scheme Ireland 2022 allows first time buyers in Ireland to claim 10% of the value of their property, which can be anywhere up to €30,000. 

In this article, I will be going into detail about how the Help to Buy scheme works, what you have to do to qualify, how much can be available to you, how to get your taxes refunded, how to get up to date on your taxes so you can qualify, and finally how to apply.

1.How does the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022 work?

2. How do I know if I qualify for the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

3. How much is available to me from the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

4.How will I receive my tax refund from the Help to Buy scheme 2022?

5.How can I get up-to-date on my taxes for the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

6.How can I apply to the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

7. A summary of The Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022. 

1. How does the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022 work?

Untitled design 10 1 edited

The Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022 is a Government tax refund scheme.

It allows first time buyers to claim 10% of their property value to help them pay deposits on newly built homes.

This incentive offered by the Irish Government lasts until the 31st of December, 2022.

In order to claim from the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022, you must have paid the equivalent amount of 10% of your property value in tax in the previous 4 years before moving into your new home. 

This refers to Income Tax and DIRT.  You cannot claim from USC or PRSI. 

Don’t worry too much if you feel that you haven’t paid enough tax to qualify, as in actual fact most people in Ireland likely have paid 10% of their property tax within 4 years and can therefore apply to have their tax refunded for their new home under the Help to Buy scheme. 

2. How do I know if I qualify for the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

htb 5 edited 1

Even if all your taxes are up to date, there are still some more conditions that you need to take into consideration before applying to this scheme.

In order to qualify, you must-

  • Be a first time buyer in Ireland and outside of Ireland.
  • Be moving in with an applicant who is also a first time buyer if more than one person will be purchasing the home, ie) if one applicant is not a first time buyer then you cannot qualify for this scheme. 
  • Be moving into a newly built or self built home.
  • Be using the property as your principal private residence for 5 years.
  • Be moving into a home that isn’t a conversion or restoration, however a conversion of a non-domestic home into a domestic home can qualify. 
  • Be moving into a home worth less than €500,000.
  • Have a mortgage with a loan to value of 70%. For example, if you are purchasing a home worth €200,000, your mortgage must be €175,000.
  • Not pay for home in cash. 
  • Not be an investor or landlord.
  • Not be using property for investment purposes. 
  • Have a solicitor or contractor registered with the Revenue Commission.

While it may seem that there are many conditions to this scheme, remember that this incentive is to help first time buyers get on the property ladder. 

Therefore if you are a first time buyer and have been tax compliant in the 4 years before moving into your new property, you will most likely be able to qualify for this scheme. 

3. How much is available to me from the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

htb 1 1 edited

Under the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022, first time buyers can claim, 

  • 10% of the purchase price of their new build, for example a home worth €200,000 can claim €20,000.
  • The amount of Income Tax and DIRT paid in the previous 4 years before moving.

Or for self-builds, 

  • 10% completion value of their self-build home. 

In order to claim from this scheme, your home must be valued at €500,000 or less. 

The most you can claim from this scheme is €30,000, meaning that even if your home is valued at more than €300,000, you still can only receive €30,000 max.

Value of propertyRates Total claim received
€300,00010%€30,000
€400,00010%€30,000- cannot receive more than €30,000.

4.How will I receive my tax refund from the Help to Buy scheme 2022?

htb 2 1 edited

So if you qualify for this scheme, your tax refund will be paid to you depending on your property. 

If you buy a new build after 1 January 2017 (4 years ago), the refund is paid directly to the builder.

If you self-build the property after 1 January 2017, the refund is paid to a bank account you hold with your loan provider.

This money can be used to help first-time buyers cover the costs of their deposits.

5. How do I get my taxes up to date for the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

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In order to claim from this scheme, you must be fully tax compliant and all your taxes must be up to date. 

However if your taxes are not up to date, you must complete a Form 12 if you are a PAYE earner or a Form 11 if you are self-employed.

You must fill out these tax forms in the 4 year period before you move into your new home and pay any outstanding taxes. 

6. How can I apply to the Help to Buy scheme Ireland 2022?

htb 4 1 edited

If you think you qualify for the help to buy scheme Ireland, then you should go to Revenues MyAccount service, where you will be told how much tax refund is available to you as well as apply. 

7. In a Nutshell – Help to Buy Scheme Ireland 2022

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In short, the Help to buy scheme 2022 is a great incentive for new first time buyers who are looking to find their way into today’s housing market.

If you are looking to buy a new home as a first time buyer then this scheme is designed to help you.

That is why we at moneysherpa believe you should check to see if you’re eligible for this scheme and apply as soon as you can before it ends on the 31st of December, 2022.

Next Steps – Help to Buy Scheme Ireland 2022

Wanting to find a mortgage for your new property? Contact one of our mortgage sherpas today free of charge or you get provisional approval in 5 minutes with our instant approval calculator, so you can get going and view some properties!

Want to see how much you could potentially save? Use our savings potential calculator here!

If you have any questions about lenders or switching mortgages feel free to contact our QFA mortgage sherpas here at moneysherpa.

Stamp Duty Ireland 2022- What is Stamp Duty & Why You Need to Know About It

stamp duty

So what is stamp duty Ireland and do you need to pay it? Stamp duty is a tax that is paid when a property has been transferred from one person to another.

Stamp Duty Ireland.

When someone transfers their property onto you, you become the property owner and are charged a stamp duty tax.

Stamp duty is a tax charged on written documents that transfer ownership of land from one person to another. Stamp duty applies to all residential and non-residential properties. 

The amount of stamp duty you pay depends on how much your property is worth; so the more valuable your property, the more stamp duty you’ll pay.

In this article. I am going to be breaking down what stamp duty applies to, how it is calculated, the exemptions to stamp duty, will stamp duty be charged on new buildings, the new higher rate introduced in Ireland in 2022, the charges associated with stamp duty, stamp duty in regards to gifts and inheritance and an overall summary of stamp duty. 

  1. What does stamp duty apply to?
  2. How do I calculate stamp duty?
  3. What exemptions are there to stamp duty?
  4. Is stamp duty charged on new builds?
  5. What is the new higher stamp rate that has been introduced?
  6. What costs are involved with stamp duty?
  7. Do I have to pay stamp duty on a property I was gifted/inherited?
  8. Summary. 

1.What does stamp duty Ireland apply to?

stamp duty 1

Stamp duty will be applied every time you become a property owner. It applies to all properties, whether they be brand new or second hand. However new builds will not be subject to VAT, I go into this in more detail here.

Stamp duty applies to all residential properties such as houses, apartments or sites that will be used for buildings .

It also applies to non-residential property, such as land or housing sites without residential buildings. 

2. How do I calculate stamp duty?

stamp duty 2

In Ireland ,stamp duty is levied at 1% up to €1 million. Any property over €1 million is levied at 2%. 

Here’s an example excluding VAT-

Lets say you have a property worth €2 million. 

First €1 million1%€10,000
Remaining €1 million2%€20,000
Total stamp duty €30,000

For non-residential properties, stamp duty is charged at 6%.

So what is the difference between residential and non-residential properties?

To put it simply, a residential property is one suitable for dwelling, such as a home or an apartment. Stamp duty is charged at 1-2% for residential properties. 

Don’t worry too much about calculating the stamp duty of your own property, as your solicitor will do this for you. 

However, it’s still good to know roughly how much stamp duty you will have to pay before purchasing a property.

3.What exemptions are there to stamp duty Ireland?

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Of course there are a few exceptions where you don’t have to pay stamp duty. 

There is no stamp duty charged on the transfer of property between-

  • Spouses and civil partners.
  • Former spouses (divorced).
  • One cohabitant to their other cohabitant. 

If you are buying a home under the local authority tenant purchase scheme you will only be charged €100 worth of stamp duty. 

4.Is stamp duty Ireland charged on new builds?

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For new builds, stamp duty is still paid, however it is calculated differently. For new builds you will be charged stamp duty on the value of the home and VAT will not be included. 

Here’s an example-

The standard rate of VAT is 23%. Let’s say we have a property worth €450,000. 23% of €450,000 is €103,500. This means that before VAT the value of the home was €346,500. Hence our 1% stamp duty tax will be charged on the €346,500, not the €450,000.

This only applies to new builds, not 2nd hand properties. 

5.What is the higher stamp duty Ireland rate that has been introduced in 2021?

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In July 2021, an act was introduced that charges 10% stamp duty on property owners who have bought 10 or more properties within one year after the 20th of May 2021. 

This act was introduced to stop the bulk buying of homes in Ireland and to discourage investment funds from buying up housing estates, so first time buyers are given a chance to purchase a home. 

This higher rate does NOT apply to apartments. It also does not apply to homes bought for social housing purposes. 

6.What are the costs involved with stamp duty Ireland?

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Your solicitor will calculate how much stamp duty is due for you before the sale is closed. This stamp duty is paid to the Revenue Commission and a stamp is placed on the deeds of the property. 

Whilst having a solicitor to do all the hard paper work for you is a huge help, it does come at a price.

The price of a solicitor to guide you through this process will vary. Some solicitors will charge a flat fee, whilst some will ask for a % value of the property, such as 1 or 2%. 

You should be prepared to spend between €1000-€3000 in legal fees along with VAT. 

This is why it is important to research a good solicitor that will get the job done at a reasonable price before thinking about transferring properties. Check out more on solicitor fees here.

7. Do I have to pay stamp duty Ireland on a property I inherited or was gifted?

stamp duty 8

According to the Revenue Commission [1] , if you are given a property as a gift that is situated in Ireland and the property has been transferred to you then yes, you will still have to pay stamp duty

However you will NOT have to pay stamp duty on a property that you have inherited, such as a property left to you in a will.

In a Nutshell – Stamp duty Ireland

stamp duty 9

So in summary, stamp duty is a major factor to take into consideration when you are planning on buying a property.

It is important to remember that between buying the property, solicitor fees as well as stamp duty, buying property requires a lot of money. Hence you should thoroughly research how much a property will cost you and put a lot of thought in before you start enquiring.

From this article, you should hopefully have a better understanding of how stamp duty is calculated and what factors you should keep in mind before looking about buying a new property.  

What’s Next?

If you have any more questions about stamp duty or buying a new property feel free to book an appointment with our financial advisors here at moneysherpa free of charge here.

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about longer term fixed rates, you can check out our deep dive best fixed rate mortgage piece here or how fixed versus variable compares here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here and our remortgaging guide here. If you still have questions check out our switching Q&A here.

If you are thinking of freeing up some extra cash from your home, take a look at our mortgage top up tips here or if you are over 55 our equity release rundown here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here, covering not only the best rate, but also helping choose the lender most likely to approve you and helping take the pain out of the paperwork.

APRC, the Ultimate Guide. What It Is and Why It Could Save You €20,000+.

ICS Mortgages Review
APRC

So what is Annual Percentage Rate of Change, (APRC) ? While it may seem confusing at first, APRC is a helpful tool that shows us the true cost of mortgages, so we can compare them to find the cheapest option. That’s why the CCPC [1] recommends using APRC to compare mortgages.

APRC is a really handy guide that tells us which mortgage is the best value for money if we see it through. APRC takes all costs involved in a mortgage and converts it into a percentage. This percentage shows us how much a mortgage costs after every factor is taken into consideration. 

This is really helpful when trying to find the best mortgage available, as all you have to do is look at the APRC percentage. The lower the percentage, the cheaper the mortgage is if it’s paid off completely. 

In this article, I will be discussing APRC in a bit more detail to help you better understand how it works, why it is useful to us, the difference between APR and APRC, how APRC is calculated and finally, how to get a loan with low APRC. 

  1. What is APRC?
  2. Why is APRC useful?
  3. What is the difference between APR and APRC?
  4. How is APRC calculated?
  5. How to get a loan with low APRC?
  6. Summary

1.What is APRC?

APRC 1

Annual Percentage Rate of Change (APRC) is a useful tool when comparing mortgages. It shows us the total cost of a mortgage when all factors are taken into consideration.

Factors such as fees and interest rates will greatly affect how much your mortgage will cost you overall. 

APRC will take all these factors into consideration to show us in percentage form how much a mortgage with a particular lender will cost us if we see the mortgage through to the end. 

It helps us see at a glance which mortgage provider offers the best mortgage to us after all costs have been taken into consideration. Remember; the lower the APRC rate, the cheaper the mortgage. 

2.Why is APRC useful?

APRC 2

Marketers will often try to persuade homeowners into buying a specific mortgage with attractive offers such as low starting interest rates or cashback. 

However, once you take the different factors into consideration, such as high variable rates introduced after the introductory period is over, you may soon discover that a once appealing mortgage is in reality quite expensive compared to other lenders. 

APRC helps homeowners compare mortgages from different lenders and prevents them from being swayed by attractive starting rates and other misleading factors. 

Let’s look at an example. Say a homeowner wants to mortgage a house worth €150000 and has a deposit down of €30000. APRC will help us see out of these 2 mortgages which is this best value for €120000. 

Mortgage AMortgage B
Starting Rate 0.99% for 24 months 1.39% for 24 months 
Standard Variable Rate 4.99% for 23 years 4.75% for 23 years 
Fees up front €1600

At a glance, many may think that Mortgage A is the best option, as it offers a much cheaper starting rate. 

However, as APRC will tell us, Mortgage B is in fact the better option, as it offers a lower standard variable rate than Mortgage A , as well as no fee up front.  

Mortgage AMortgage B
Overall cost €245,559€238,332
APRC 4.5%4.2%

Because Mortgage B’s APRC percentage is lower, it means that it is the cheaper option, saving you €7,227 over the lifetime of the mortgage.

3. What is the difference between APR and APRC ?

APRC 3

It’s very easy to get confused between APR and APRC, as they are similar in name and in meaning. 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR) works in a similar way to APRC, as it helps us compare the total cost of loans and credit. APR shows a percentage of how much interest the borrower pays on a loan, such as a mortgage, per year. 

Annual Percentage Rate of Change shows a percentage of the total cost of a loan such as a mortgage after all factors are considered.

In comparison to APR, APRC doesn’t just show us the cost of a loan after one year, instead it shows us how much the loan will cost us once it’s paid in full.

4.How is APRC calculated?

APRC 4

APRC takes a variety of different factors into consideration, such as broker fees and different interest rates, to calculate how much your mortgage will cost you for the full period of the loan. 

One vital piece of information that you must remember when looking at different APRC percentages on loans is that APRC takes all factors into consideration assuming that you will see this loan out until it has been PAID IN FULL. 

APRC shows how much you will pay over the full term of the mortgage, meaning APRC is not useful if you are considering moving house or switching lenders. 

So before you decide to look at different APRC percentages to help decide what the best mortgage for you is, consider certain factors, such as how long will I stay in this property? What life events are likely to happen in the near future that will affect my living situation?

If you think that you may be switching mortgages or moving property in the near future, APRC therefore might not be as important. This is because as you are planning to pay off the mortgage early and get a new one when you switch or move the introductory rate will apply for a larger proportion of the loan than shown in the APRC which assumes you will have the mortgage for the full term.

This is why although not making sense for everybody cashback and low introductory rates are a good option for those looking to switch regularly.

5. How do I get a loan with a low APRC?

APRC 5

Getting your loan with APRC is influenced by a variety of factors like:

The amount of available equity in your property– If you have a lot of available equity in your property and apply for a smaller loan, you are less of a risk to your lender, therefore earning a better interest rate bringing your APRC percentage down.

How much you want to borrow– The more you borrow, the lower rate you’ll be paying which again affects your APRC, as APRC assumes you will stay with this mortgage until it is paid in full.

The length of the mortgage- The longer your mortgage is the less you will pay per month, as the payments are stretched across a longer period of time.

Size of deposit– The more money you have in your deposit on a house, the lower the interest rate, as you are not seen as a risk to the lender.

6.Summary – APRC

So to summarise, when you think APRC, remember-

APRC is a tool to help you compare mortgages and find the best mortgage available.

The lower the percentage, the cheaper the mortgage is once it’s paid full term.

APRC shows percentages assuming you will stick with one particular mortgage to the end.

Always predict changes in your living situation in the near future before thinking about using APRC to find the best mortgage.

What’s next?

If you have any more questions about stamp duty or buying a new property feel free to book an appointment with our financial advisors here at moneysherpa free of charge here.

If you want to see what you could save by calculating your repayments and see all mortgage provider rates you can click here.

If you want to know more about other mortgage providers you can click here.

If you want to know more about longer term fixed rates, you can check out our deep dive best fixed rate mortgage piece here or how fixed versus variable compares here.

If you want to know more about switching you can click here. Or you can check out our handy switching mortgage guide here and our remortgaging guide here. If you still have questions check out our switching Q&A here.

If you are thinking of freeing up some extra cash from your home, take a look at our mortgage top up tips here or if you are over 55 our equity release rundown here.

If you want to get your savings started right now, set up a free no obligation video call with a mortgage sherpa here, covering not only the best rate, but also helping choose the lender most likely to approve you and helping take the pain out of the paperwork.

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