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5 Solutions to Lower Your Mortgage Loan – ECO

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Amortization, term extensions, renegotiation of insurance and other banking products, and mortgage transfers are some of the ways you can minimize the impact of higher interest rates.

Euribor rates have been rising since the end of last year, and no one knows how far they can go. For families with mortgages, this is an excruciating headache, resulting in a significant increase in mortgage payments.

A year ago, for example, a mortgage loan of 100 thousand euros for 30 years, indexed to the 6-month Euribor rate (at the time of trading at -0.53%) and with a spread of 1.5%, gave a monthly payment of 320 euros. Today, when the 12-month Euribor is 0.67%, the payment on a mortgage loan reaches 378 euros. This is an increase of 50 euros per month, which is equivalent to more than two old payments per year, which must be paid into the family budget over the next 12 months until the rate is revised again. And the worst thing is that bad news should not stop there.

The period of low and negative interest rates that we have been living through for so long does not promise to return. On the other hand. The growth of Euribor rates in the coming years is no longer something unknown.

Currently forward rate agreements (financial contracts traded on the secondary market that allow you to set an interest rate in the future and are used by professionals to predict interest rate fluctuations in the long term) on the 6-month Euribor indicates that in November the rate exceeds the 1% line, could reach 1.5 % by 2026 and in less than 10 years will be trading above 2%.

The next few years will come with a lot of stress for the portfolio of Portuguese families. Especially for those who have not taken precautions against rising interest rates. However, this is not the end of the world. There are several solutions to reduce the burden of mortgage loans on the family budget.

1. Amortize the loan

There are several ways to reduce your mortgage, but none is more effective than reducing your bank debt.

For example, if your mortgage is indexed to the 6-month Euribor (currently at 0.67%), it has a spread of 1.5%, it will only repay over 20 years, and the amount you still owe bank, is up to 100,000 euros, the depreciation of 30,000 euros immediately increases the installment from 514 euros to 360 euros.

However, it is important to consider the cost of this operation. Since this is a variable rate indexed mortgage, it requires a prepayment fee which can range from 0.5% (in the case of variable rate contracts) to 2% (in the case of fixed rate contracts). on depreciated capital.

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Mortgage amortization is thus the best investment families can make at any time. Especially when rates are preparing for further growth: in addition to the ability to immediately reduce the installment plan and the amount of interest payable during the term of the contract, it immediately unloads the monthly budget in the same proportion as debt cancellation. The only downside is that for this you need to have liquidity to repay the debt.

In the case of more organized and “savvy” families, this should not be a serious problem, given that for more than a decade Euribor rates (for all maturities) have been falling sharply, and since February 2016 have even gone into negative territory. which allows you to increase your savings.

In case the piggy bank is empty, the solution that needs to be considered to mitigate the impact of the interest rate hike is to extend the term of the loan.

2. Extend term

It is true that postponing a problem until later is not a good practice. However, in the case of a home loan, by extending the term of the contract, families are currently gaining slack in their budget.

For example, if you have 20 years to pay your mortgage and currently have a balance of €100,000, the monthly payment is €514, assuming it is indexed to the 6-month Euribor rate (0.67% ). and a spread of 1.5%. When extending the term of the contract for another 10 years, the installment plan goes up to 378 euros, that is, it decreases by 26.5%.

The disadvantage of extending the term of the contract is that in this case the final balance of interest payable will be higher. This means that as the number of years of the loan increases, despite creating more savings now, in the long run the total cost of the loan ends up increasing as the period over which interest is charged increases.

The mortgage renewal process also depends on the age of the loan holder. Currently, most banks require the contract to expire before the holder is 75 years old. However, there are people who admit that they live up to 80 years.

3. Trade new spread

Banks remain very competitive in the home loan market. According to the Bank of Portugal, from July last year to June this year (latest available data), the volume of mortgage loans issued by banks grew by an average of 4.5% per month on an annualized basis. It has been more than 10 years since such massive growth occurred.

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The firm commitment of banks to providing home loans is also felt in the spreads they charge on contracts. Based on the prices of ten major banking institutions (accounting for over 95% of the home loan market in Portugal), the average minimum spread applied for new floating rate contracts is currently below 1%. According to the Bank of Portugal, this is three times lower than the average spread of new Euribor-indexed contracts for 3, 6 and 12 months spent in 2012.

If your home loan agreement has a spread above 1% (if you bought a house between 2011 and 2018, it is highly likely that this is the case for you as well), it is worth listening to what the market has to offer. One tenth less on a mortgage loan of 100,000 euros for 30 years results in a difference of 60 euros per year.

Don’t get too convinced about the first offer you get. Try to use this offer to your advantage by first putting pressure on your bank to lower the spread and then on other banks to offer you an even more competitive solution.

Among the price lists collected through the website of ten major banks, Bankinter stands out the most as it has the lowest minimum spread on the market: 0.9%. However, if you are already thinking about chasing this offer, remember that what is more important than signing up for the offer with the lowest spread is the APR (global effective annual payment rate) that you should pay attention to, because that it is on it that the total cost of the loan lies (including installments, bank commissions and insurance).

In addition, in the case of transferring a loan to another financial institution, it is necessary to understand whether this change entails any costs for you. Some banks bear all the costs of transferring a mortgage loan, but not all. Pay attention to some of these costs: the fee for early repayment, the opening of the process, the valuation of the property, the execution of a new contract, the new deed and all related taxes (stamp duty on the transaction and on the loan, and the Board on onerous transfer of property). (BMI).

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Next minimum spread 1%

Strong competition from banks in the provision of mortgages is visible due to the close proximity of the offer of minimum spreads, with a focus on Bankinter, Banco CTT and Montepio, which already practice rates below 1%.

Source: Unreliable banks have been operating since August 3rd.

4. Change insurer

The cost of a mortgage loan is much more than a mortgage payment. It also aggregates the costs of life insurance (protects credit holders in the event of death or disability), multi-risk insurance (protects property from possible damage it may suffer) and other costs associated with products that have been subscribed to receive a bonus. . distribution.

Thus, renegotiating insurance conditions can be a way to significantly reduce the cost of a home loan. However, it is necessary to coordinate the change of the policy with the bank to ensure that the change of the life and/or multi-risk policy does not lead to an increase in the spread.

Life insurance is usually what has a higher cost at the end of the month. In addition, it becomes more expensive as credit holders age. So, start by discussing your life insurance policy. Find an insurance intermediary to help you find the most cost-effective solution, or request a simulation of your case directly from insurers. It will not be difficult to get a 30% savings when you renegotiate life insurance terms.

5. Rethink financial products

Last year alone, more than 35 thousand mortgage lending agreements were renegotiated, which is 17% more than in 2019 and 36% more than in 2021. According to the Bank of Portugal, “out of the revised terms carried out in 2021, 29.6% changed only the grace period for capital and 11.5% changed the spread and other terms at the same time with a financial effect.”

Data Bank of Portugal also show that 18.9% of the revised terms changed more than two financial terms, and 18.6% had the sole purpose of changing other contract terms with a financial effect (other than spread, term, capital grace periods or interest rate type), which may include, for example, changing an index or setting a lower fee for a limited period of time or reducing the cost associated with certain products such as debit cards and credit and account maintenance fees.

Everything can be negotiated when reviewing a home loan. There are only two situations in which this does not apply: you will always need to have a payroll account linked to a mortgage loan agreement and register some direct debits.

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Economy

Home loan: Interest rates have already risen more than in the 2008 crisis See how far they can go

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Home loan: Interest rates have already risen more than in the 2008 crisis See how far they can go

Installments will increase sharply from next week, when October begins. Interest rates are rising rapidly to 3% and the OECD already allows rates at 4%. This is TVI’s new weekly feature, “People Are Not Numbers.”

Do you have a home loan? So get ready: October will be the first month you’ll experience a significant increase in mortgage payments.

Nearly 19 out of 20 mortgages in Portugal have variable interest rates, with payments being reviewed every three, six or 12 months according to the contract index. However, the update is based on the average Euribor for the previous month. And September was the first month when the average Euribor was much higher. That’s why the big effects start in October. Next week.

The six-month Euribor (most used in Portugal) is about two percentage points higher than it was six months ago in March. And the 12-month Euribor (the second most used) is almost 2.5 percentage points from what it was a year ago.

Hence the simulations. For example, for a loan of 150 thousand euros for 30 years, indexed to Euribor for 6 months, the installment will increase by 141 euros, from 454 to 595 euros. In the same example, but with indexation to Euribor for 12 months, it is worse: the increase in October, that the installment plan will be revised, will be 194 euros.

21 more years to pay

More than 1.43 million Portuguese families owe a total of more than 100 billion euros in mortgage loans. And on average, it takes about 21 years to repay a loan.

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This means that only with the currently confirmed increase in the Euribor rate, Portuguese families will pay at least another two billion euros per year.

What is the average performance?

But how much do the Portuguese owe today and how much do they pay?

On average, each Portuguese with a mortgage loan owes the bank about 60,000 euros and pays 268 euros per month. These people will pay about 100 euros more per month.

But if you look at who bought a house in the last three months, and the most expensive houses, then the average debt is 128 thousand euros, and the monthly payment is 445 euros. Benefit, which will increase to about 200 euros per month.

And in the future? Adults without time and younger without money

In the future, it will be more difficult to buy a house on credit. For three reasons:

Firstly, because the loan is more expensive, so the installment plan will put more pressure on the family income. And this will force the banks themselves to say “no” more often, rejecting offers from customers who want to buy a house.

Secondly, because older people have less time. From April 1, the Bank of Portugal introduced new age rules, which in practice reduce the loan repayment period from 40 to 30 years. And that means higher monthly payments. Only up to 30 years old can get a 40-year loan. The problem is that…

… Thirdly, the younger one has no money. Housing is one of the biggest problems for young people and even one of the reasons why young people do not leave their parents’ homes.

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Portugal is indeed a European Union country where young people leave home later, at an average age of 33 years and 7 months (women leave later than men). This is almost seven years later than the EU average, and, for example, almost 15 years later than the Swedes.

Interest rates will continue to rise?

You can remove the question mark: interest rates will continue to rise. Yesterday, the ECB signaled that it would raise interest rates again in October by at least another 0.5 percentage points, and it does not stop there. For this reason, the Euribor (which has now already exceeded 2.5% in 12 months when it was negative a year ago) is rapidly approaching 3%.

Worse, in a report released yesterday, the OECD made an assessment that went unnoticed: it already allows central bank interest rates at 4%.

Yes, rates will go up.

Euribor has already risen more than the financial crisis

This is another aspect that has gone unnoticed. Many people ask if Euribor will be able to reach the record set in October 2008, at the height of the financial crisis, when it exceeded 5.5%. Everything will depend on the evolution of inflation, but even the pessimism of the OECD does not indicate such high values.

It turns out that not the value of Euribor, but its growth this year is already greater than in 2008. That year, the Euribor rose from February to September by about 1.1 percentage points, from about 4.2% to 5.5%.

This year, the 12-month Euribor, for example, rose from a negative 0.4% in early February to over 2.5% in early October.

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So installments are not as expensive as they were then, but they have more than doubled from the year that banks like Lehman Brothers or, in Portugal, BPN and BPP collapsed.

This analysis is carried out in a new feature called “People are not numbers”, which will be broadcast every Tuesday on the TVI program Jornal das 8.

Note. Cited sources of information

Bank of Portugal

Credit Market Monitoring Report

Interest rates and amounts of new loans and deposits: statistical information for July 2022

Non-financial sector debt

Amounts-Credits-Private UM-housing-M€ (new operations)

INE

Mortgage Interest Rates – August

interest rates

Evribor

ECB key rates

OECD

Economic Outlook Interim Report September 2022: Payback for War

Eurostat

Leaving home: young Europeans spread their wings

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Economy

House valuations fell by three euros, and the number of orders fell in three months | Frame

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House valuations fell by three euros, and the number of orders fell in three months |  Frame

The average value of the bank’s valuation in August was 1414 euros, which is three euros less than in the previous month, which indicates a slight slowdown in the value of houses in the context of new loans. This sign is accompanied by two other signs of slowdown, one is the year-on-year growth of 15.8%, down from the 16.1% recorded in June, and the other is the number of evaluation requests that have bounced back. the fall.

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Economy

The Lightyear 0 continues to break records and become the most aerodynamic car in the world…and it’s powered by solar energy.

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The Lightyear 0 continues to break records and become the most aerodynamic car in the world...and it's powered by solar energy.

The Lightyear 0 never ceases to amaze: in tests conducted in Germany under the WLTP homologation cycle, the electric car, which can also be powered by solar energy, scored 0.175, the lowest score of any production car in history. But this is not an absolute record.

Lighter assured that the result is surprising even for engineers who expected a value of about 0.19. Ario Van der Ham, the company’s technical director, admitted: “We are very proud of this result. We started from scratch when we began to study the machine and its technologies. We’ve put a lot of effort into this.”

The Lightyear 0 managed to beat the previous record set by the 1996 GM EV1, which was 0.19. For example, the two most aerodynamic cars sold today are the Mercedes EQS and Tesla Model S, with claimed values ​​of 0.20 and 0.208, respectively.

However, if we also take concept cars into account, the Lightyear 0 is not the most aerodynamic car – the Mercedes Vision EQXX, introduced this year, scored 0.17 points, while the JCB Dieselmax, a prototype built to set the speed record in category of diesel vehicles. , it had a coefficient of 0.147.

946 examples of the electric sedan were produced, just over 5 meters long, capable of covering almost 625 km on the WLTP cycle thanks to a 60 kWh battery, a 170 hp electric motor. and solar power, which on its own, according to the Dutch manufacturer, it can travel up to 70 km a day.

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With a base price of 250 to 300 thousand euros, this model is clearly beyond the reach of any budget. However, after 0, Lightyear is already working on a more affordable entry-level model, which has a list price of around 30,000 euros and is scheduled to launch in 2026.

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