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Put some Euro back in your pocket for a change

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By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

So it looks as though mortgage rates in Ireland have hit rock bottom with inevitable rate increases in the post.

Some 200,000 homeowners are on Standard Variable Rates and are set to pay more with rates across Europe expected to rise in the coming months.

Around 250,000 are on trackers, which rise or fall when the ECB rate changes. An increase of about 25 basis points (one quarter percent) is expected. This means that monthly repayments would increase by about €40 on a €300,000 mortgage.

The European Central Bank (ECB) president Christine Lagarde recently refused to rule out an ECB rate rise – a move that would see tracker and variable rates rise, and new fixed rates become more expensive.

The Dutch Central Bank president and a member of the ECB’s governing council, Klaas Knot, said he expects the ECB to raise interest rates in the fourth quarter of this year. He expects an interest rate rise of 0.25% between October and year’s end.

So does this mean now is the time to lock into a longer-term fixed rate? There are some very attractive fixed rate terms available in the market at present, which in five year's time will very likely look like great value.

NOT ALL BAD NEWS

It is not all bad news however. Surging house prices over the last two years mean that thousands of homeowners are now unexpectedly eligible for lower mortgage rates.

With the sudden rise in property values in recent times, there are now opportunities for anyone coming out of a fixed term period to take advantage of lower loan-to-value mortgage rates which could make significant savings over the life of the mortgage.

Mortgage interest rates get a lot more competitive at 80% loan-to-value as banks tier their rates based on this calculation.

With double-digit property inflation in the past few years, coupled with some of the loan having been paid off, anyone who took out a mortgage in 2019 or 2020 with an original loan-to-value of 90% should be at 80% loan-to-value now.

A loan-to-value of 80% means a homeowner has built up equity of 20% in their home and can now benefit from a more competitive rate.

There are still over 200,000 Irish households repaying their mortgage on Standard Variable Rates of up to 4.5%. The average new mortgage rate in Ireland at the end of last year was 2.79%. However, in 2019 the average rate was just over 3%.

There are certainly savings to be had by switching mortgages – especially for those coming out of a fixed term where their loan-to-value ratio has decreased over the past few years.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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Corcoran’s Furniture walk raises €12k for autism charity

Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland There were 37 participants in the event, which included […]

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Corcoran’s Furniture and Carpets charity walk through the Gap of Dunloe on Saturday raised almost €12,000 for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland

There were 37 participants in the event, which included AADI families, dogs, and representatives, as well as fundraisers, supporters, and members of the Corcoran’s team. The stars of the day were the three life-changing super-hero dogs, Buzz, Baron and Hank.

Former Kerry Footballer, James O’ Donoghue, was the ambassador for the event
Those taking part left Ross Castle and were treated to a phenomenal boat ride in the expert hands of Diarmuid ‘Dux’ O’Donoghue of Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours. The O’Donoghue family entertained the entire group with a range of fascinating stories outlining the history of the lakes of Killarney and Killarney National Park.

The group set out from Lord Brandon’s Cottage and walked the 11K through the iconic Gap of Dunloe, with two AADI families and their dogs taking part in the full walk. This was followed by a well-deserved meal and some rest and relaxation at Kate Kearney’s Cottage. Flemings Taxi’s Killarney brought the group back to Ross Castle, Killarney upon completion of the event.

“On behalf of everybody at Corcoran’s Furniture, we would like to thank everybody who participated in our Gap of Dunloe charity event on behalf of AADI,” said Shane O’ Callaghan, Financial Controller atCorcoran’s.

“Collectively we have raised almost €12,000 for this incredible charity and monies are still coming in. We are extremely grateful to all who supported our walk, and also to James O’ Donoghue, Christina Tagney, the Gap of Dunloe Traditional Boat Tours, the fantastic support of Noel Lucey and Donal McCarthy from the Order Of Malta, Killarney branch, and to Killarney National Park, Kate Kearney’s Cottage and Fleming’s Taxi’s. All funds raised will go toward the expert training and maintenance of the upcoming AADI dogs who will make a dramatic difference to so many children with Autism and their families.”

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