People in the Republic continue to pay higher mortgage interest rates than most of their European counterparts, new figures show.
The average interest rate on new Irish mortgage agreements was 2.8 per cent in May, down seven basis point compared with the same month a year earlier.
This compares with a European Union average of 1.27 per cent and means that mortgage holders in the Republic pay the third-highest interest rates across the euro zone.
New mortgages worth a combined €573 million were agreed in May in the State, up 52 per cent compared with the same month a year earlier when agreements declined significantly due to the Covid crisis. New mortgages were up 4 per cent compared with April 2021.
For new fixed-rate agreements, which represented 79 per cent of all loans, the average rate was 2.64 per cent, down 10 basis points compared with May 2020.
Renegotiated mortgages amounted to €189 million in May, down 66 per cent compared with the previous month with the weighed average interest rate totalling 2.74 per cent.
"The small drop in interest rates year on year is obviously welcome. However, it doesn't mask the fact that rates here remain highly elevated compared to our European neighbours," said Daragh Cassidy of Bonkers.ie.
“The average first-time buyer mortgage is now around €250,000, according to the BPFI. Someone borrowing this amount over 30 years is paying an extra €192 a month or over €2,300 a year. It’s a huge difference,” he added.