Thursday, 16 December 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Mortgage Interest Rates
I want to pick up on one of the last points. The Minister of State mentioned the very welcome decline in interest rates to an average of 2.73% in this State in October but we have to remember that compares to a eurozone average of 1.28%, so it is more than double the average for comparative European markets. To put that into actual figures, the average Irish mortgage holder will pay almost €180 a month more for every month of their mortgage compared to the European average, so that can total €2,200 a year. The Minister of State rightly points to what is a concern that those of us who sit on the finance committee have been going through for the past year, namely, the announced departure of two very significant lenders from this market in the last calendar year. This is very worrying. Their replacement by new lending options has been welcome but, we have to be frank, it is not a great deal. We cannot replace the likes of Ulster Bank with what we are seeing coming into the market. It was absolutely a pillar of Irish lending for over a century.
The Minister of State referred to the opportunities within the capital markets union. The Minister, Deputy Donohoe, is in Brussels today to discuss that at the eurozone meeting as President of the Eurogroup. I ask the Minister of State where is the enthusiasm and the rush to actually get this done.