Average interest rate on new mortgages here now above 4%

August 11, 2023

The average interest rate on new mortgage arrangements in Ireland has breached the 4% mark.

Figures from the Central Bank show that the average interest rate on new mortgages rose from 3.84% in May to 4.04% in June.

The increase of 0.2 percentage points was the second biggest jump in average rates in the euro zone in the month.

It pushes Ireland back towards middle of the league table for mortgage pricing in the euro zone.

Having stood at or close to the top of the table for many years, Ireland slipped down the rankings as the European Central Bank raised interest rates, coming close to the bottom for a number of months.

This was accounted for by banks in other countries raising their rates quite swiftly in response to the changing rates environment.

Irish banks have been slower to pass on the full extent of rate hikes to borrowers, but also to depositors.

However, rates have been creeping up, mainly on fixed rate products. Tracker mortgage holders get the full brunt of each increase.

Average rates across the euro zone vary dramatically with Maltese banks charging rates as low as 1.93%.

In contrast, the average rate in Latvia stood at just over 6%.

The average rate across the euro zone now stands at 3.79%.

Daragh Cassidy, Head of Communications at price comparison website and mortgage brokers, bonkers.ie, points out that the average is now three times what it was two years ago.

He pointed out that Irish banks have moved rates again since the figures were compiled.

“We’ve seen yet more rate hikes from all the main lenders, meaning the average rate for someone applying for a mortgage today is closer to 4.50% or 4.75%,” he pointed out.

“Currently there’s still a 50/50 chance of at least one more quarter point rate hike from the ECB – in either September or later in the year. This would take the ECB’s main lending rate to 4.50%, which means the average tracker customer could be paying a rate of around 5.60% or 5.70% before the end of the year,” Mr Cassidy explained.

Even in the absence of another rate hike, he pointed out that banks here could still raise rates further as they have only passed on a fraction of the ECB rate hikes to date.

Rachel McGovern, Director of Financial Services at Brokers Ireland said all mortgage holders who have not done so should review their positions, and ideally seek the advice of a mortgage broker.

“There are still substantial savings to be achieved by many borrowers,” she said.

“There are still good fixed rates in the 4.05% to 4.8% range to be got for long periods of ten years. There are also five year fixed ‘green mortgage’ rates of 3.70% upwards (depending on loan to value) for those with homes that have a BER rating of B3 or better.”

Article Source: Average interest rate on new mortgages here now above 4% – Brian Finn – RTE

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