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BoSI exit narrows home-loan choices for consumers

THE move by Bank of Scotland/Halifax to close down its retail operations here means that Permanent TSB and National Irish Bank are now the most expensive for mortgages, according to mortgage brokers.

The withdrawal of the Scottish bank is one of the reasons that there has been a 53pc fall in the number of mortgage products on offer, down from 380 in early 2008 to just 179 at the moment.

Director of Irish Mortgage Corporation Frank Conway said there was less choice for potential borrowers, with just three or four lenders now active in the market. Mr Conway said that Permanent TSB has the most expensive five-year fixed rate mortgages for residential customers at 5.75pc (annual percentage rate of 5pc).


National Irish Bank has a rate of 5.48pc (APR of 4.91pc), also over a five-year period.

Figures out earlier this week from the Irish Banking Federation showed that just €8bn of new mortgages were issued last year, a fall of 80pc from the €40bn issued at the peak of the boom in 2006.

Meanwhile, the Professional Insurance Brokers Association (PIBA) claimed it was now becoming cheaper to buy a house rather than rent one.

Responding to the latest Daft.ie survey -- showing that rents across the country rose by 1pc in January -- Rachel Doyle of PIBA said that while it remained to be seen if the latest rental figures became a trend, nonetheless, "the reality is that rental and house prices are now very closely aligned".

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