Mortgages up 39% in March, brokers say

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More Irish than ever are switching mortgage providers as market competition intensifies and homeowners’ prices rise in interest rates.

Online mortgage brokers MyMortgages.ie said there was a 39% increase in their own switching activity levels between March 2021 and March 2022.

The figures are similar to recent data from the Irish Banking and Payments Federation, which showed switching volumes jumped 42% year-on-year in February.

Consumers are buying more and more as KBC and Ulster Bank prepare to exit the Irish market and new businesses enter the country, MyMortgages.ie said.

Last year, lender ICS Mortgages cut rates by up to 0.50% on its variable and fixed rate mortgages, becoming the second lender – after Avant Money – to offer rates below 2%, while that Haven Mortgages introduced a 2% green rate last year.

Experts at Mymortgages.ie said they expect the volume of switching activity to increase further as KBC and Ulster Bank leave the market, competition intensifies and landlords plan to possible rate hikes from the European Central Bank.

Experts at MyMortgages.ie have seen a steady increase in the number of tracker mortgage holders inquiring about long-term fixed rates in recent months, amid fears the ECB could raise rates as early as this winter. The latest published tracking rates date back to 2008.

“Nobody knows when the ECB will raise rates, but the general consensus is that hikes are on the horizon – we could well see two or three between this year and next,” said Joey Sheahan, head of credit. at MyMortgages.ie and Author of Mortgage Coach,

“While we always advise consumers to review their mortgage every 3 years or so, mortgage holders are more in tune with their finances than ever. This is perhaps a positive consequence of the pandemic in that people have had more time to examine their financial situation, whether out of necessity or desire.

The news comes as a MyHome survey found nearly nine in 10 homebuyers say next year will be a bad time to buy a property due to rising prices.

Just 12% of respondents agreed the next 12 months will be a good time to buy, with around three-quarters expressing concern about the state of the property market in general.

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