Experts at MyMortgages.ie, one of Ireland’s leading mortgage brokers, have reported a flurry of activity in the mortgage switcher market since the beginning of the year. The brokers forecast the switcher market alone will experience double digit growth in the first 6 months of the year, as an increasing number of mortgage holders learn of the money saving option.
Figures from MyMortgages.ie have revealed that on “average” mortgages throughout the country anywhere between €40,000 and €100,000 could be saved by moving to another lender. Around 5,300 mortgage in Offaly could benefit from switcing, according to the brokerage firm.
Joey Sheahan, Head of Credit at MyMortgages.ie believes a number of factors that have led to the influx in enquires they have experienced in the last two weeks:
“We have experienced a 3-fold increase in the volume of enquiries received since January 2 from mortgage holders all over the country wondering if they might be eligible to switch lender and avail of cheaper rates. We put this down to a number of factors. As a result of recent media reports, anecdotal evidence suggests that an increasing number of mortgage holders seem to now be aware of the fact that switching lenders to avail of a better rate might be a viable option for them."
"With the still curtailed new house building, banks are struggling to hit their mortgage targets and so are turning to the switching market. This is creating an opportunity for many homeowners to make considerably savings. There are 8,973 owner-occupied mortgaged homes in Offaly and we would guestimate that anywhere between 60-70% of these could be eligible to switch lender to avail of cheaper rates," he added.
"A mortgage is most people’s biggest monthly expenditure and yet it’s something that people don’t pay enough attention to when it comes to getting the best value on the market. Many people assume that once they’ve taken out a mortgage with a lender for 20/25/30 years, then that’s the end of the decision making process. But mortgages are just like any other financial product – they should be reviewed every 3 years to ensure you are not paying over the odds," Sheahan continued.
Experts at MyMortgages.ie say that there has been a raft of debate and discussion in recent years surrounding the high variable rates that banks have been charging mortgage customers since the start of the recession.
Mr. Sheahan went on to comment, “lots of people are struggling financially under the weight of these rates. We deal with clients on a daily basis who are unaware that switching could even be an option for them – many believe they are simply 'locked in' to the contract with their current lender. And of those who have heard of switching, most just think it’s too much hassle."
"People have also voiced concerns over the cost of switching but they don’t realise that most banks will give cashback which will more than cover this from €1,500 up to 2% of the loan amount. So all these assumptions are inaccurate at best and are costing people thousands at worst.”
Mr. Sheahan advised: “If you are a fixed or variable rate mortgage customer you are definitely of interest to other mortgage lenders which means you could potentially save thousands over the remaining term of your mortgage by switching mortgage provider. Due to the current low cost of funds available for banks, in many cases there is no early breakage fee for exiting a fixed rate. You just have to call your bank to check this."
MyMortgages.ie have set out a 3 step process to get people on the path to switching:
1. To begin the process contact your existing Lender and confirm your rate of interest, balance outstanding and term remaining on the mortgage.
2. Ask your lender if the variable rate you are on the best available to you and what fixed rate options are available to you as an existing customer.
3. Then contact a qualified and professional independent mortgage advisor and ask them to compare your existing mortgage terms to what is available to you in the market. The more equity you have in your home the better the new terms likely to be available to you but you can switch even if your loan is 90% of your value.
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