Consumers in Republic paying second-highest mortgage rates in euro zone

Average mortgage rate across bloc is 1.26%

People in the Republic continue to pay higher mortgage rates than most of their European counterparts, although the State now lags behind Greece.

The average interest rate on new Irish mortgage agreements was 2.8 per cent in April, up two basis points on the same month a year earlier, according to figures from the Central Bank. This places the State just behind Greece for the highest rates paid. Previously, Irish households paid the most for their home loans across the euro zone.

The euro-zone average rate stood at 1.26 per cent, although the rate varied considerably across countries, the regulator said.

New mortgages worth a combined €533 million were confirmed in April in the State, down 18 per cent compared with March but 36 per cent higher than the same month a year earlier.

Fixed rates

For new fixed-rate agreements, which represented 82 per cent of all loans, the average rate was 2.63 per cent, unchanged from the previous month. For variable-rate loans, the rate stood at 3.42 per cent in April. This was a decrease of seven basis points from the previous month.

Renegotiated mortgages amounted to €554 million in April, an increase of 108 per cent on the previous month. The Central Bank said the high volume was driven by expiring fixed-term contracts and renegotiations. The average interest rate for renegotiated loans was 2.5 per cent.