The Central Bank’s proposals to cap mortgage lending received a mixed reception at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, which met to discuss the topic today.
TDs and Senators heard from financial and mortgage experts during the meeting, which came after Central Bank Governor Patrick Honohan’s appearance at the committee yesterday.
During that meeting, Mr Honohan defended the proposal to require a 20% deposit on new mortgages, as well as a planned cap on the loan-to-income ratio of a customer.
He had claimed that just 2,800 customers would have been affected by the move if it had been in place last year, however Karl Dieter of Irish Mortgage Brokers disputed this.
He said that figure excluded a number of types of customers, including those in negative equity, and so was not representative of the true picture.
Mr Dieter also questioned the suggestion that a mortgage insurance scheme could be introduced to bridge the gap between a buyers’ savings and the required deposit.
He said he did not know if it was the role of the regulator to create a market for the insurance industry.
Others expressed broad support for the mortgage cap, but said it should be phased in over time rather than introduced immediately early next year.
Brendan Burgess from AskAboutMoney.com said a rushed introduction of the 20% deposit rule would discourage people from building houses, which would make the already bad situation worse in the likes of Dublin.
Meanwhile, economist at Trinity College Dublin Ronan Lyons criticised the Government for its attitude towards the property market, saying that it was dangerous to expect that increased supply would help to tackle the problem of high demand.