Image ICS Mortgages raises rates for second time in two months
Image Daragh Cassidy
Head Writer

ICS only last raised its rates in March and the move will add significantly to borrowing costs for new customers.

Even though the ECB has yet to officially increase interest rates, the higher cost of raising funds on global capital markets means some lenders are being forced to increase their rates already.

Just over a week ago, Avant Money, the low-cost Spanish lender which has shaken up the Irish mortgage market since it launched here in 2020, increased its five, seven and 10-year fixed rates for new borrowers by between 0.20% and 0.30%.

And only back in February ICS Mortgages also increased some of its fixed rates, which you can read more about here.

And now for the second time in less than two month, the Irish lender is increasing its fixed rates yet again.

Going up

ICS is increasing its three and five-year fixed rates by a fairly hefty 1% across all loan-to-value (LTV) bands.

For example, first-time buyers with a 10% deposit who want to avail of ICS’s five-year fixed rate will now pay a rate of 3.69% as opposed to 2.69% previously, and just 2.50% back in March.

This means a first time-buyer borrowing €250,000 over 30 years will now pay €1,140 a month compared to €1,008 a month previously, or an extra €132. Before March's hike, they would have been paying just €984 a month.

Movers or those with a 20% deposit will now pay €1,128 a month compared to €996 a month previously. Before March's hike, they would have been paying just €946 a month - that's a difference of €182 a month!

Switchers with at least 40% equity in their homes who could have availed of a five-year fixed rate as low a 1.95% back in March or 2.40% until today, will now pay 3.40%.

However, as back in March, all ICS’s variable rates are remaining unchanged for now.

Loan-to-Value

Variable

3-year fixed

5-year fixed

< 60%

2.45%

3.25%

2.25%

1.95%

3.40%

2.40%

1.95%

< 70%

2.45%

3.30%

2.30%

2.10%

3.45%

2.45%

2.10%

< 80%

2.70%

3.45%

2.45%

2.20%

3.60%

2.60%

2.20%

< 90%

2.70%

3.55%

2.55%

2.35%

3.69%

2.69%

2.50%

When will the new rates take affect?

The new rates are effective immediately for new customers. However those with an application already in progress with ICS can still avail of the old, lower rates for a time.

Mortgage seekers with a valid loan offer from ICS that was issued before 14th March 2022 will be eligible for the lower rates as set out in their loan offer. If the loan offer expires, one week’s grace will be granted. Any drawdowns after this grace period will be at the new, higher rates. 

Customers with a loan offer issued on or after 14th March will have until close of business on 14th June to draw down on their current offer. Draw downs after that date will be at the prevailing rate.

Existing customers won't see their rates change.

Unsustainable 

Speaking of the increases, Ray McMahon, Chief Commercial Officer at ICS Mortgages, said: 

Today we are announcing a number of significant changes to our fixed rate products, driven by prevailing market conditions. As a prudent mortgage lender, we have to offer products that combine attractive product features with appropriate market rates. Like all prudent mortgage lenders, we also have to ensure that these products are funded in a stable and sustainable manner, including the mitigation of any market interest rate risk.

In the last 12 months, the costs of interest rate swap hedging for 3 year and 5 year fixed rate products has increased by circa 1.50%. ICS Mortgages has to pay these swap costs each year for the term of the fixed rate mortgage. While to date we have absorbed this increased cost, regrettably, this is not sustainable.

This is a consistent development across the Eurozone, where mortgage lenders have been increasing their rates steadily in recent months to reflect these increasing costs.

Compare mortgage rates on bonkers.ie

While rates have been increasing with some lenders, other lenders such as Bank of Ireland and Permanent TSB have actually been decreasing theirs. For example, BOI recently cut its green, high-value mortgage rate to just 1.90%.

So whether you're a first-time buyer, moving home, or looking to switch your mortgage to save some money, you compare mortgage interest rates and incentives across all lenders in Ireland in just seconds with our mortgage calculator.

Better still, when you find the right mortgage for you, you’ll be able to complete your mortgage journey with us through our mortgage broker service.

Our mortgage broker service is fully digital and paper-free meaning you can do it all online from the comfort of your home.

Why are interest rates increasing? 

Inflation. 

At 7.5%, eurozone inflation is rising at its fastest pace since the creation of the euro over two decades ago. In some countries, including Ireland, prices are rising at their fastest pace since the early 1980s.

See here for an explanation on why inflation is increasing.

Although the ECB has yet to raise rates, it’s expected to do so over the coming months to try to bring inflation under control (which we discuss in more detail here)

This expectation of an increase in rates is raising the cost of funds on global money markets, which in turn is putting pressure on some lenders such as Avant Money and ICS Mortgages, which rely heavily on these markets for funding, to hike their rates. 

The retail banks – AIB, BOI, and PTSB - are part able to fund their mortgages through their vast deposit books so are less exposed to rising costs on capital markets for now. 

Get in touch

Are you worried about rising mortgage rates? 

What do you think about today's news from ICS?

Let us know in the comments below or get in touch with us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.