Mortgage interest rates for first-time buyers edges higher

First-time buyers are paying on average €173 per month more than in rest of euro zone

Fixed-rate mortgages continue to rise in popularity, accounting for €575 million or 76 per cent of all new agreements in August.

Fixed-rate mortgages continue to rise in popularity, accounting for €575 million or 76 per cent of all new agreements in August.

 

First-time buyers here continue to pay significantly more on mortgage repayments than their European counterparts, new figures show.

Data from the Central Bank shows there was a slight increase in the average interest rate charged on new mortgages in August, despite rates declining elsewhere in the euro zone.

According to the figures, the average interest rate increased to 2.99 per cent from 2.98 per cent in July, although rates here are down 2 basis points since the beginning of 2019.

The average mortgage interest rate in the euro zone fell to a series low of 1.48 during August.

Comparison website Bonkers.ie estimated that first-time buyers here are paying on average €173 per month more than the European average, given current house prices.

The Central Bank said new mortgage agreements rose by almost 12 per cent in the first eight months of the year to €5.4 billion.

It said fixed-rate mortgages continue to rise in popularity, accounting for €575 million or 76 per cent of all new agreements in August.

The weighted average interest rate on new fixed-rate mortgage agreements stood at 2.89 per cent in August with rates having fallen by 16 basis points over the last year.

The volume of new variable-rate mortgage agreements was down 32 per cent during August to a combined with interest rates on new agreements at 3.31 per cent.

Renegotiated mortgage agreements amounted to €209 million during the month, the figures show.