Thursday, 16 December 2021
Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions
Mortgage Interest Rates
As I said, there has been a reduction, although I understand the Deputy’s point that despite the 2.73% rate available since October this year, it is higher than European norms. In truth, the reason for that is multifaceted.
While the credit risks and capital requirements in Ireland are elevated due to the historic loan experience and loss experience, the level of non-performing loans is higher in Ireland relative to other European countries, which affects the cost of mortgages. I do not know why that is the case but it is a simple and straightforward statement of fact. The higher cost-to-income ratio has also been characterised by the Irish banking sector in recent years and low levels of competition in the Irish banking market compared with other jurisdictions can also have an impact on rates here.
It is important to note that new mortgage lending is running at a strong level. In monetary terms, mortgage lending in the first nine months of 2021 has amounted to €7.2 billion. This is 32% higher than in the same period last year and is now at the highest level of any year since 2008. In the last 13 years we had a much more muted mortgage market and the figures we have this year are higher than any period since 2008, which is good news for many people.