Mortgage holders still paying more than European counterparts

People in Ireland paying over €82,000 on average over the lifetime of a mortgage

Irish mortgage holders are continuing to pay significantly more than their European counterparts, according to new figures from the Central Bank.

Mortgage holders in the Republic are paying 1.53 per cent more than the European average, which amounts to €229 more each month on a €300,000 mortgage over 30 years. Overall, this leaves mortgage holders here paying €82,342.80 more than their counterparts in other countries over the lifetime of a home loan.

Rachel McGovern, director of financial services at Brokers Ireland which represents 1,250 Broker firms, described the rates differential as "unconscionable."

“There is some evidence of greater competition entering the market with some lenders moving to lower rates, which is likely to trigger yet further competition,” she said.


“But Irish mortgage holders still do not see the kind of long-term fixed interest rates that are available in other European countries, rates for periods beyond 10 years, for terms of 20 years or for the lifetime of a mortgage. Such give long-term security to mortgage holders, and lenders themselves ironically,” Ms McGovern added.

She recommended that mortgage holders here should shop around so as to substantially reduce their repayments, saying they can benefit from rising house prices with an improved loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

“Most lenders offer a lower interest rate where there is a better LTV ratio. But consumers need to be proactive in seeking out a better rate from their lenders,” she said.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist