Irish people paying €85k more on mortgages than European counterparts

Irish people paying €85k more on mortgages than European counterparts

Mortgage-holders here could be spending €85,000 more than those in other European countries over the lifetime of a 30-year loan.

The Central Bank has issued its latest report on retail interest rates. The report, which includes data for October 2019, shows that Irish mortgage holders are paying 1.56% more than the Euro average.

This works out at €236.76 more per month on a mortgage of €300,000. Over the lifetime of a 30-year mortgage, this could work out at €85,000.

    According to the Central Bank report:

  • The volume of new mortgage agreements amounted to €810 million in October 2019, bringing the total to €6.95 billion for the first ten months of the year, an increase of 11% on the same period for 2018.
  • The weighted average interest rate on all new mortgages agreed in Ireland stood at 2.93% in October. The average rate for the euro area stood at 1.37%, although the rate varied considerably across countries.
  • Fixed-rate mortgages accounted for 75% of new mortgage agreements in Ireland in October.

The report also noted that consumer lending in October increased by €4 million on the previous month to €197 million. The average interest rate was 7.93%. The equivalent euro rate stood at 5.58%.

Rachel McGovern, director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland which represents 1,250 broker firms, said that borrowers and savers in Ireland are being squeezed in comparison to those in other European countries.

On a 25-year loan of €250,000, Irish consumers pay an extra €191.81 per month, which is €57,543 over the term of the loan.

"There is no real rationale for this take from Irish consumers, particularly since savers on the other side of the equation are not getting any benefit from these out-of-kilter rates. Both borrowers and savers are being squeezed," Ms McGovern said.

"The fact that the situation maintains points to the lack of sufficient competition in the Irish market. However, if the country can manage to break down the barriers to building more homes and succeed in building the 340,000 new dwellings the Central Bank this week estimated will be needed up to 2030, then we will not only see more affordable homes, the country will be more attractive for new lenders to enter, which should result in better Euro-area type mortgage products."

Ms McGovern advised consumers to explore options of switching.

Last year, just 15.5% of people switched mortgage provider, according to the Banking and Payments Federation Ireland.


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