Competition in the mortgage market heats up as ICS Mortgages becomes only the second lender here to introduce a rate below 2%.
There hasn’t been much good news in the banking sector of late.
Back in February Ulster Bank dropped the bombshell that it was to exit the Republic after over 160 years. Then a few weeks later KBC announced that it too was planning to leave.
To lose one bank is unfortunate; to lose two is careless as they say.
And in the midst of all this, every month the Central Bank tells us we have among the highest mortgage rates in the Eurozone, at over double the rate being charged on average in the 19-member currency bloc.
But things are beginning to brighten up.
EBS recently announced a cut to some of its fixed rates, AIB and BOI have recently announced healthy profits (which should allow them to invest in better services and hopefully start reducing rates too), Avant Money has introduced the country’s first ever 30-year fixed-rate loan, and now ICS Mortgages has become only the second lender in Ireland to offer a mortgage rate below 2%.
Who is ICS Mortgages?
It may not be a name huge numbers are familiar with, but ICS Mortgages, or the Irish Civil Service Building Society as it was originally known, has been around in some form since 1864.
It has been owned by Dilosk, an Irish financial services company, since 2013.
It’s a non-bank lender that specialises in residential mortgage and buy-to-let lending and has been supporting Irish people looking to own their own homes for over 150 years.
ICS Mortgages has announced cuts of up to 0.50% to its variable and fixed-rate mortgages.
Its variable rates will now start from 2.45% while its fixed rates will start from just 1.95%, the joint lowest in the market along with Avant Money.
As is usually the case, first-time buyers and movers with bigger deposits, and switchers who have more equity in their homes, will receive the best rates.
The new rates will be available from 9th August.
Ray McMahon, Chief Commercial Officer at ICS Mortgages, said that the company was proud of its heritage as a trusted lender for generations of Irish homeowners and was continuing this legacy with these significant rate reductions.
ICS Mortgages is a specialist mortgage lender and favourable international financial market conditions enable us to now offer new residential customers reduced monthly repayments, putting money back into the pockets of home buyers and mortgage switchers up and down the country.
At ICS Mortgages we are solely focused on the Irish mortgage market and our ambition is to significantly grow our market share, by providing long-term value and innovative new mortgage products and features tailored to the needs of the Irish homebuyers.”
What are the savings?
The average first-time buyer mortgage is now around €250,000, according to the BPFI. So someone with a 10% deposit who is borrowing this amount over 30 years would save just over €60 a month, or almost €725 a year, with the new variable rate for example.
Why choose ICS Mortgages?
Mortgage seekers have a tendency to go to their ‘main bank' as a first port-of-call when looking to take out a mortgage.
But as we always say at bonkers.ie, you should shop around.
You don’t have to have a current account or a long-term relationship with any lender before looking to take out a mortgage.
When assessing your mortgage application a lender will mainly look at your income, your repayment capacity, your employment, and your credit history.
Who you have your current account with has absolutely no bearing on whether or not a lender will offer you a mortgage.
So compare the market and consider all lenders - even the ones like ICS, Finance Ireland and Avant Money whose names you may not be overly familiar with.
Another reason to consider ICS is how it treats your income if you’re a public sector employee.
As we know, the Central Bank’s mortgage lending rules are quite restrictive and limit your borrowing to 3.5x your annual income in most cases.
However in most cases, if you’re a public sector employee, ICS will let you borrow based on an income that’s two points above your current salary scale.
Perhaps unsurprisingly it has been voted ‘Best Mortgage for Public Sector Employees’ by Public Sector Magazine for the past two years running.
Compare mortgage rates on bonkers.ie
Are you a first-time buyer or a mortgage holder looking to switch lenders to avail of a cheaper rate?
You can use bonkers.ie to compare the market in just a few simple steps!
If you’re looking to switch mortgages, take a look at this blog to see just how much you could save and learn more about the switching legal fees involved here.
When you decide to apply for your mortgage, you can submit an online enquiry through our new mortgage broker service. One of our qualified financial advisors will be in touch to get your application started.
You’ll be happy to hear that our mortgage broker service is entirely free and is fully digital from start to finish, meaning everything can be carried out online from the comfort of your home. And it's completely paper-free too!
It’s always important to shop around and do your own research so make sure you check out our helpful mortgage guides, which will help you make an informed decision.
Let's hear from you
If you have any questions about the new rates from ICS Mortgages we’d be happy to help!