Mortgage interest rates dip but remain more than double euro-zone average

Central Bank statistics show weighted average interest rates on new mortgages was 2.9% in November

Interest rates on mortgages taken by Irish consumers were lower in November than at the beginning of last year but the rate here stood at more than double the euro zone average.

According to statistics released by the Central Bank of Ireland, the weighted average interest rate on all new mortgages was 2.9 per cent in November, 11 basis points down since the start of 2019 when the rate stood at 3.01 per cent. For the euro zone, the average was unchanged at 1.37 per cent.

Consumers here overwhelmingly opted for fixed rate mortgages in the month, with 77 per cent, or €625 million, of new mortgage agreements being for fixed rates.

With fixed rates rising in popularity, the volume of variable rate mortgages was down 20 per cent on the same month in 2018 to €191 million. The weighted average interest rate on new variable agreements stood at 3.22 per cent in the month while the same metric for new fixed rate mortgages was 2.81 per cent.

New loan agreements amounted to €186 million in November, down €11 million compared to the previous month, while the average interest rate for those loans was 8.04 per cent. Again the equivalent euro-zone rate was lower, standing at 5.51 per cent.

As with loans and mortgages, interest rates on deposits here trail the euro zone. Interest rates stood at 0.04 per cent in November while the equivalent euro zone rate was 0.29 per cent.

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton

Peter Hamilton is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business