Don't Throw Out the Kitchen Sink - The Bank Ownes That Too...

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This summer, a division of the Royal Bank of Scotland, called FirstActive, announced it would offer first-time Irish homebuyers “100% mortgages.” In the past, most buyers in Ireland have put up at least 8% of the purchase price on a house. No more. The new mortgages will be granted to anyone who can make the monthly payments.

Residential mortgage lending is growing in Ireland at a torrid rate of 26.6% annually. The announcement that lots of buyers will be paying mortgages on properties they have zero equity in came, ironically, during a week when “the Central Bank...signaled concern about high and growing levels of household debt,” according to The Irish Times. Rumors that some banks would soon create mortgages for even more than 100% of a home’s value were denied by several bankers.

August 2005