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This week’s vital property news: High mortgage rates and an end of the 'Battle for Gorse Hill'

Everything you need to know in one quick guided tour.

House Sign2 (2)

THIS WEEK ONE of the biggest housing stand-offs in recent history came to a head.

Brian O’Donnell finally handed over the keys to his Gorse Hill mansion to Bank of Ireland CEO Richie Boucher.

There was also more news about variable rate mortgages, with banks not exactly warming to the idea of lowering them.

The Big Movers

Variable rate mortgages

There has been growing pressure on banks to cut their variable rates, with the cost of borrowing in Ireland being much higher than the European average.

Speaking to the Oireachtas Finance Committee, the chief executives of both the Bank of Ireland and Ulster Bank were defiant when it came to the issue.

Bank of Ireland’s boss Richie Boucher said, “We look at our rates on an ongoing basis, I can’t make a commitment today.”

jim brown Ulster Bank chief executive Jim Brown Source: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Head of Ulster Bank, Jim Brown, was blunter in his response saying that the bank had no intention of cutting its variable rate and that it did not believe that its “standard variable rate is overpriced”.

‘The Bloody Keys’

This week the ‘Battle for Gorse Hill’ finally came to a head.

On Wednesday former solicitor Brian O’Donnell handed the keys to his Killiney mansion, with a keyring reading ‘The Bloody Keys’ on them, over to Bank of Ireland boss Richie Boucher at the bank’s AGM in Dublin.

Earlier in the week the country’s highest court rejected a last-ditch effort by O’Donnell and his family to hang on to the property.

brian o'donnell Brian O'Donnell handing over 'The Bloody Keys' at the Bank of Ireland AGM Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

House prices on the up

After small drops at the start of the year it seems that house prices across Ireland are back on the up again. 

Across the country there was a rise of 0.9% bringing the yearly increase in house prices to 16.8%.

The figures for March were the first increase since the introduction of the Central Bank’s new rules on mortgages which restrict the amount that buyers can borrow based on their incomes and the size of the deposit they are able to put down.

Under Construction

boulder home Source: Business Insider

Des Res

This week Business Insider has offered the general public some tips on how to buy a private island, even if you’re not a tech billionaire. It says that thousands of islands come onto the market each year in a number of locations for a range of different prices.

This week’s vital property news: High mortgage rates and an end of the 'Battle for Gorse Hill'
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  • Grenada's White Island is on sale for €4.9 million.

  • Bella Lune is on sale for €1.25 million. There's already a cottage built on the southern end of the island.

    Source: Private Islands Inc
  • Macuata Island, in Fiji, is on sale for €2.54 million.

  • Buck Island in the British Virgin Islands, price available upon request.

    Source: Private Island Inc

And Finally…

This week DeZeen has featured a house that has house-shaped windows. The property is described as a “three-dimensional puzzle-like composition”.

house with crazy windows in korea Source: AND architects

Read: Brian O’Donnell hands “The Bloody Keys” of Gorse Hill to Bank of Ireland boss

Also: House prices are marching upwards again

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