Friday 17 January 2020

Switching mortgage can save up to three weeks' wages a year

The process of switching can be less painful than most popular new year’s resolutions. Stock Image
The process of switching can be less painful than most popular new year’s resolutions. Stock Image
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Home owners could work three weeks less this year by simply switching their mortgage from the highest rate.

Experts said the process of switching can be less painful than most popular new year's resolutions.

Couples earning the average wage and on the highest mortgage rate are working nine hours each month just to service "needless" interest payments of €3,498 a year, according to calculations by mortgage switching platform

One of them could take three unpaid weeks off work and be in the same net financial position, said managing director Martina Hennessy. "If a gym guaranteed similar tangible results within six to eight weeks, new year's resolutions would be a no-brainer," she said.

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The current spread between the highest and lowest interest rates available on the market is 2.25pc, or €3,498 in annual repayments for an average private house mortgage, according to the index.

Ms Hennessy took an example of a married couple, both earning the average wage of €38,871, with an after-tax income of €62,111. They are on the highest variable rate.

The couple will be working more than nine hours a month to repay the additional interest of €291 per month on the average mortgage of €243,512, Ms Hennessy said.

"A bit like the new year gym membership, psychology plays a huge part in mortgage switching, with some people feeling it is a really complex process, so they do nothing."

However, recently introduced Central Bank measures make it far easier for consumers to switch lenders, she said.

"Just as motivations for new year's resolutions can be different, consumers switch their mortgage for different reasons," she said. "When I look at why our customers switch mortgage, they can be broadly categorised as those under 40 tending to simply want to lower monthly repayments.

"They also tend to opt for a cashback option which in some cases affords them up to 3pc of their mortgage back in cash at a time when most will have wiped out savings on the deposit to purchase their home."

Those between 40 and 45 are more inclined to release equity for home improvements or to reduce repayments so as to take parental leave to spend more time with children, Ms Hennessy said.

Taking an average mortgage amount of €243,512 on a 4.5pc rate over 25 years, the mortgage holder is repaying €1,353.52 per month, according to the Index.

If they kept this repayment but were eligible for the lowest market rate of 2.25pc, then they could reduce their mortgage term by over six years, Ms Hennessy said.

Irish Independent

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