Mortgage rates fall in March but remain more than twice the euro average

Mortgage rates fall in March but remain more than twice the euro average
Ireland had the second-highest mortgage interest rates across the euro area in March.

Interest rates for new mortgages remain more than twice the European average, new Central Bank figures show.

The average interest rate on new mortgages agreed in Ireland stood at 2.8 per cent in March. While this is down 11 basis points on the previous month it is still significantly above the euro area average at 1.31 per cent in March. 

Ireland had the second-highest mortgage interest rates across the euro area.

The Central Bank report also found that the volume of new mortgage agreements amounted to €673 million in March, an increase of 17 per cent on February.

Of this, €506 million was agreed in new fixed-rate mortgages. New variable rate mortgage agreements increased by 24 per cent to €167 million.

Brokers Ireland which represents 1,250 Broker firms has previously criticised the significant difference in rates saying it can cost homeowners more than €236 more every month on a €300k mortgage over 30 years.

"Irish consumers are losing out on every front, paying unjustifiably high-interest rates and not having better euro area type mortgage products that enable people to plan their financial futures with confidence,” Rachel McGovern, Director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland said.

She also said there is huge untapped value for consumers still to be got in switching between lenders.

The Central Bank said consumer lending in March decreased by €52 million on the previous month, with €183 million recorded in new loan agreements. 

However, new consumer loans typically decline in March compared to February. The average interest rate was 7.23 per cent, up marginally from 7.21 per cent the month previous. The equivalent euro area rate stood at 5.46 per cent in March.

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