Finance Ireland, the non-bank lender, said it is “temporarily suspending” the supply of fixed-rate mortgages of 10 years or more, amid heightened volatility in international debt markets.
The lender, led by chief executive Billy Kane, introduced 15- and 20-year mortgages to the market last year as non-banks made a strong bid for market share after Ulster Bank and KBC Bank Ireland decided leave the Republic.
Ireland’s 10+ year fixed-rate mortgages are known to have been its most popular products for customers this year, as mortgage exchangers and homebuyers looked to lock in long-term rates while market investors bond brokers were betting on a series of rate hikes. by central banks. The European Central Bank (ECB) has raised its main interest rates by 1.25 percentage points since the end of July and is seen raising rates again on Thursday by 0.75 points in an effort to curb runaway inflation.
“Given the current volatility in interest rates internationally, we have decided to suspend our longer-term fixed rate products, for periods of 10 years or more,” a Finance Ireland spokesperson said. “We plan to reopen applications for such products in due course when markets return to normal.”
The company will continue to offer variable-rate mortgages and fixed-rate mortgages for periods of less than 10 years, he said.
Non-bank lenders are much more exposed to market rates than major Irish banks, which largely finance their mortgages with deposits, where most savers currently earn little or nothing on their money.
Finance Ireland relies on its 41 per cent shareholder, UK investment house M&G, for seed funding to underwrite mortgages. It then typically refinances pools of mortgages in international bond markets, where the cost of financing has soared in recent months.
Finance Ireland said customers who have received an offer of a fixed rate of 10 years or more “will be processed as normal, but no new applications will be accepted for the time being.” The spokesman declined to comment on how long the products might be withdrawn.
The move comes months after ICS Mortgages temporarily restricted new home loans to 2.5 times borrowers’ gross income, compared with the 3.5 times limit set by the central bank for most loans.
The Central Bank decided last week to increase the ratio to 4 for first-time buyers starting in January. ICS also tightened its deposit criteria and raised certain rates.
Meanwhile, Avant Money, the third-largest non-bank mortgage lender in the Irish market, has also raised rates on certain products. The Spanish-owned company’s Irish mortgage portfolio was €1.5bn in September, almost 500 percent more than in the year.
AIB, including its subsidiaries EBS and Haven, is alone among Irish banks to have raised rates since the ECB first moved in July. It was moved this month to add a half percentage point to the cost of new fixed mortgages.