Dáil debates

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Ceisteanna Eile - Other Questions

Mortgage Interest Rates

11:10 am

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Deputy for raising this matter so regularly with me. I also thank him for his participation and attendance at the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform, and Taoiseach on this and other matters which I greatly value.

The Deputy will be aware of the first part of what I am about to say, which is that this is a commercial matter for individual lenders. I cannot determine the interest rates they charge nor indeed is the Deputy asking me to do that. I wish to bring to the attention of the House some changes that have occurred in this area. The interest rates on new mortgages in Ireland are now falling. For example, in July 2022, which is the latest information available to me, the weighted average interest rate was 2.63%, which is down from 2.69% at the end of 2021 and 2.73% in July 2021. Most new mortgages in Ireland are now fixed-rate mortgages and the average interest rates on these mortgages of 2.5% at the end of July is a little bit lower.

While I grant that these are only very gradual and moderate changes, they are in the context of change that has been taking place over recent years where we have seen this gradual change occur. The gap between average Irish and eurozone mortgage interest rates was 1.4% at the end of 2021. At the end of July, it is now 0.55%. That gap has narrowed and has changed. Much could yet happen with those interest rates in the time ahead as the House is aware, but that narrowing has occurred in the recent period due to changes the Deputy is aware of as more fixed-rate products have been accepted by consumers.


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