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Mortgages

Avant Money's low mortgage rates now available to more customers

Avant Money's low mortgage rates now available to more customers
Rob Flynn

Rob Flynn

Staff Writer

Avant Money previously went by Avantcard before rebranding in early 2021 in order to fully represent its range of loan products, including mortgages.

Since launching into the market back in September, new mortgage lender Avant Money has made quite a name for itself.

Catching homeowners' eyes with its low-cost, market-leading rate of 1.95%, Avant Money approved almost one in five of all switcher mortgages in February, according to the latest data from the Banking and Payments Federation of Ireland (BPFI).

That being said, one of the problems switchers (and first-time buyers) have had when applying was that Avant was only lending to people living in certain prime locations around the country, namely the cities of Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford, including their surrounding areas.

However, the Spanish-owned lender has announced that it is officially expanding its low-cost mortgage rates to a range of new locations this month.

The expansion of Avant Money’s mortgage offering will be sure to entice many prospective switchers and is already stirring up competition in the market, but more on that shortly.

Mortgages for more

From this month Avant Money will be branching out to homeowners located in other parts of the country, as well as the locations included as part of its original launch.

Here are the new locations where mortgage switchers and first-time buyers and movers can apply from April: 

  • Wexford town 
  • Kilkenny city
  • Dundalk
  • Athlone
  • Carlow town

The lender said that its expansion to new locations will see it serve 71% of eligible homes, while it also plans on extending this further down the line.

Avant Money is also increasing the number of brokers through which customers can apply for a mortgage. When the lender initially launched in September, its mortgages were only available through a number of select brokers, 19 to be precise.

However, Avant has increased that number by 13, with 32 approved brokers now available to choose from across all 10 locations nationwide.

Head of mortgages for Avant Money, Brian Lande said of the news: 

We are delighted to continue our growth in Ireland and to be bringing low prices to Irish consumers who have been charged the highest mortgage rates in Europe for far too long.

Take a look at Avant Money's full range of mortgage rates in the table below!

Fixed term

Loan-to-value ratio

Rate

Follow-on variable rate

3 years

<60%

1.95%

2.50%

60 - 70%

2.10%

2.50%

70 - 80%

2.20%

2.75%

>80%

2.35%

2.75%

5 years

<60%

1.95%

2.50%

60 - 70%

2.10%

2.50%

70 - 80%

2.20%

2.75%

>80%

2.50%

2.75%

7 years

<60%

1.95%

2.50%

60 - 70%

2.30%

2.50%

70 - 80%

2.40%

2.75%

>80%

2.65%

2.75%

Should you be thinking about availing of Avant Money’s lowest rate of 1.95%, remember that it does still require a loan-to-value ratio of 60% or less so there is that to think about. This means as a switcher you'd need at least 40% equity in your home and as a first-time buyer you'd need this much of a deposit, which is easier said than done.

Nevertheless, Avant Money’s expansion could possibly force the hand of other lenders, as they try to ensure their mortgage offerings remain competitive for customers, potentially having a downward effect on rates.

And signs of just that have already begun!

Mortgage war

Since Avant Money shook up the market in 2020 with its low-cost offering, it has been ratcheting up the pressure on other lenders to lower their rates to remain competitive, which has now intensified.

In fact, in recent days Ireland’s largest bank AIB slashed the price of its green five-year fixed-rate, now starting from as low as 2.10% for new and existing customers.

AIB wasn’t the only one either with Permanent TSB cutting its cashback offer and introducing its lowest rate to date; a four-year fixed rate of 2.25% for new customers.

Interestingly, the move from PTSB to get rid of its cashback offer and focus solely on lower rates could very well be informed by Avant’s approach and subsequent success in the market since launching.

It will also be interesting to keep an eye on Bank of Ireland in the coming weeks to see if it implements any changes to its rates. Its five-year fixed rate is still 3%.

And while Avant Money’s expanding presence will doubtless have an effect on interest rates, consumers still have one more problem to contend with and that’s the withdrawal of Ulster Bank.

Ulster Bank announced its planned withdrawal in February just gone and its exit from the Republic could lead to upward pressure on mortgage rates in the medium term. The bank holds approximately 15% of the Irish mortgage market at present so its exit is a big blow to competition here.

That being said, for competition reasons many of the big lenders here such as AIB or BOI won’t be allowed compete for the business, so it’s not all doom and gloom.

Signs of switching

In what was some more good news for competition, the latest figures from the BPFI for March show that 15% of all mortgage approvals were homeowners switching lenders.

This also proved to be the fastest growing segment in February, with the amount of customers choosing to make the switch up a total of 15.1% year on year.

Brian Hayes, Chief Executive at the BPFI said: 

Our latest approvals figures show another month of solid albeit slower growth, especially for first-time buyers who now account for over half of all approvals both in volume and value terms. This growth is taking place against a backdrop of continued level 5 restrictions throughout February which underlines lenders’ continued support for the mortgage market particularly when we consider that February 2020 was a relatively normal month preceding any COVID restrictions.

It is interesting to note that switching was the fastest growing segment in February, with volumes up 15.1% year on year to more than 500. Lenders are supporting large numbers of customers who want to switch. In the past three years, lenders have approved almost 17,900 re-mortgages valued at €4.2 billion.

If you're thinking of switching and saving on your mortgage, have a read of our guide for everything you need to know.

Compare the market 

Whatever stage of the mortgage journey you’re on, at bonkers.ie we can help!

Before making a final decision on any particular rate or lender make sure you’ve considered all your options by running a comparison using our online mortgage calculator.

It’s free and easy to use and is an invaluable guide when you're navigating the way on your mortgage journey. So whether you're a first-time buyer, mover or switcher, have a look.

Also, if you have any questions about the latest mortgage news or any questions about mortgages in general we’d love to hear from you. You can get in touch with us in the comments section below or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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