Central Bank seeks submissions for mortgage lending rules review

Potential buyers face a challenge to save deposits while also paying inflated rents...

Central Bank seeks submissions for mortgage lending rules review

Bachmont, Flickr

The Central Bank has announced that it will take "evidence-based" submissions as part of its review of the impact of its mortgage lending reviews.

Rules introduced in 2015 require deposits of up to 20% to be saved before potential homeowners can take out a mortgage.

Governor Philip Lane confirmed that while the general framework is intended to be a permanent feature - it will be reviewed.

The bank is now inviting, "written public submissions that provide evidence-based analyses of the impact of the rules."

A statement from the bank maintains that, "any changes will require a high evidence threshold and that the calibration of these rules can be tightened, loosened or left unchanged."

The rules come at a time when young buyers hoping to 'get on the property ladder' are facing a spike in rent prices due to a housing shortage, particularly in and around the capital.

In the report, Mr Lane notes that macro-prudential regulations were introduced with the intention of "safeguarding stability, [and] protecting consumers."

Parental help

Earlier in this month, a report from estate agents Savills said that the new rules had been one of the key reasons for the more than doubling in the value of savings in Ireland during 2015.

According to John McCartney, Research Director with Savills Ireland, the most likely explanation for the savings surge is that first-time buyers and their parents, who are trying to help them to meet the requirements, are saving more to fund deposits.

"Since the start of 2015, new mortgage rules mean that home buyers can borrow less ... Therefore, they have to save bigger deposits. In this context, it is not surprising to see a rise in household savings," Mr McCartney said.

He added that parents are becoming increasingly involved in helping their offspring to buy their first properties.

Rent Nation

Economist Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers & Advisors.ie has stated that high mortgage deposits are forcing people to stay in rented accommodation and fueling the housing shortage.

"If you've got people who have to come up with an extra 20,000 and they’re looking to save that, they end up renting a house for much longer than they would have. But because of that what you’re seeing is that they’re staying in a certain sector where the supply isn’t coming on board," he commented.

"It’s driving up rents. That’s almost like an additional tax which makes savings harder. It doesn’t mean that house sales have stopped or the prices aren’t rising; they are but it’s just that people aren’t borrowing to do it."

Rents in Dublin have risen by close to one-third since their lowest point five years ago. Nationwide, market supply has reached its lowest point on record.