Latest figures from the Central Bank today show that first-time buyers continue to pay way higher interest rates than customers in any other country in the Eurozone.
According to the Central Bank, the average interest rate issued on a new mortgage in August was 3.15% (a slight fall from 3.21% in July). Although low for Ireland by historical standards, this compares to an average rate of just 1.77% across Europe.
According to the Banking & Payments Federation Ireland, the average first-time buyer mortgage is now €218,702. This means a typical first-time buyer who’s borrowing that amount over 30 years will pay €156.40 a month more for their mortgage compared to the European average, or almost €1,900 a year.
The figures also show that the popularity of fixed rates continues to rise and these accounted for 65% of new mortgage lending in the three months to August (up from 54% in May, 59% in June and 63% in July). However, this is still low by European standards where over 80% of mortgages are fixed.
Commenting on the data, Head of Communications at price comparison and switching website bonkers.ie, Daragh Cassidy said, "Despite the recent rate reductions from some of the main banks, first-time buyers in Ireland continue to pay far more for their mortgage than buyers in any other country in the Eurozone, which is incredibly frustrating. Not only are first-time buyers being priced out of the market due to rapidly rising house prices, they also have to contend with the highest mortgage rates in the Eurozone, which puts added pressure on affordability."