It’s a good week for a boring chore.
Irish homeowners have been using the long days in Covid-19 lockdown to shop for a better deal on their mortgages.
Heaps of paperwork takes time to fill out, but with nothing more exciting to do, savvy spenders are putting in the effort and securing lower rates that will save them a lot of money in the years to come.
Based on the spike in new enquiries that members have experienced since March, the Association of Irish Mortgage Advisors (AIMA) is anticipating that the volume of people applying to switch their mortgage for a better deal will increase by 20% or more over the next four to six weeks.
“Every household in the country is now pretty much confined to their homes,” says AIMA Chairperson Trevor Grant.
“People are using this as an opportunity to get their financial affairs in order. A mortgage is most people’s largest monthly outgoing – so the savings that can be made by switching are generally larger than the combined benefit of switching utilities, mobile providers and health insurance providers.
“Mortgage rates have reduced considerably in the last six months, with the lowest market rate now standing at 2.2% and most lenders will cover any costs associated with switching. Our members are finding enquiries on switching are up now that people have more time”.
Planning on applying for a mortgage?
The AIMA is also advising those would-be homebuyers who had planned to submit mortgage applications to continue to do so. Although delays mean approvals might take a little longer, the organisation hopes that by the time the mortgages applications are processed, homebuyers will be able to go view the properties they are looking to buy.
“We appreciate that the financial situation of so many people has changed so suddenly, and we are united in the hope that they will change for the better just as quick, as soon as the crisis has passed,” said Mr Grant.
“But for others, the COVID 19 emergency might not have had a direct impact on their finances, and it is to these people we are saying, push ahead with your mortgage application plans, it is absolutely worth your while to do so to mitigate the effect of any delays that may ensue.”