Wednesday 18 September 2019

Ulster Bank cuts home loan rates in bid to lure new buyers

Ulster Bank: Lender is targeting first-time buyers and loan switchers. Photo: Bloomberg
Ulster Bank: Lender is targeting first-time buyers and loan switchers. Photo: Bloomberg
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Ulster Bank has reduced some of its mortgage rates and made it easier to get one of its low-interest home loans.

The lender has also introduced new rates for those seeking exemptions from Central Bank lending rules.

The bank is seeking to sign up first-time buyers and switcher customers.

It comes as ICS Mortgages launched into the residential market this week, with some of the lowest rates. The move by Ulster Bank also comes hot on the heels of rate reductions by KBC last month, while Permanent TSB recently launched a new seven-year fixed rate and last month. Haven said it would start offering mortgage customers the choice of a fixed rate over seven and 10 years.

Ulster Bank has reduced its five-year rate to 2.6pc across all loan-to-values - a reduction of up to 0.39 percentage points. This means someone with a €300,000 loan would pay up to €744 a year less.

The bank has cut its seven-year rate to 2.99pc across all loan-to-value bands. It was between 2.99pc and 3.29pc.

Ulster Bank says it has the lowest four- and seven-year fixed rates. The bank has also lowered the minimum borrowing amount for its "high-value five-year rate" from €500,000 to €300,000.

It has lowered the rates for those availing of an exemption from Central Bank restrictions. Now the lowest rate for customers seeking exemptions is a 2.45pc two-year fixed rate, available across all loan-to-value bands up to 90pc.

Lorraine Costelloe, head of home buying and ownership at Ulster Bank, said it wanted to simplify how it presented its fixed rates to customers.

The bank continues to offer €1,500 towards legal fees and free valuations on new mortgages. It is also offering deals on life and home insurance.

Daragh Cassidy at price comparison site Bonkers.ie said the reductions meant Ulster Bank now had the leading rate over four, five and seven years for first-time buyers.

"The reduction in the longer-term, seven-year fixed rate is particularly welcome given the poor value of longer-term fixed rates in Ireland," he said.

Irish Independent

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