Central Bank to review mortgage rules - Governor

Friday 08 January 2016 18.33
Prof Philip Lane said the rules could be tightened or loosened
Prof Philip Lane said the rules could be tightened or loosened

Central Bank Governor Professor Philip Lane has said mortgage rules, which particularly affect first-time buyers, will be reviewed in the summer.

In an interview with The Irish Times, Prof Lane said the rules could be tightened or loosened.

He said the existing rules were a permanent feature, which could be adjusted up or down depending on the environment.

Prof Lane said the rules for residential mortgages will remain as a permanent feature as a macroprudential tool to avoid boom/bust cycles and avoid over indebtedness.

He has confirmed, however, that over time they could be adjusted or revised in time in either direction if and when analysis suggested this is warranted.

Meanwhile, a financial expert has said the rules have not worked and that it is unclear if they will be tightened or eased once they are reviewed by the new Governor.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Sean O'Rourke, Karl Deeter of Irish Mortgage Brokers, said the bank needs to look at evidence-based policy to ascertain what will actually affect credit conditions and house prices.

"They're not going away and about 47 countries around the world have them. They're not completely uncommon and I suppose he [Philip Lane] doesn't see his first year in office as being one where he should undo the work that Patrick Honohan, his predecessor did.

"In terms of reviewing them, do they go, do they go down, I don't know that's really a Philip Lane and Central Bank economist question."