Greece is the only other EU nation with an average rate above 3 per cent, while Finlandis the only country to go below the 1 per cent mark.
A number of countries, including Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Portugal all average less than 2 per cent.
Daragh Cassidy, from price comparison website bonkers.ie, said the figures show Irish punters are being ripped off.
He explained: “Over four years after the recession came to an end, the Irish mortgage rate rip-off continues.
“Despite the recent rate reductions from some of the main banks, Irish mortgage holders continue to pay more for their mortgage than any other country in the Eurozone. And the gap seems to be getting bigger.
“A first-time buyer who takes out a mortgage of €250,000 in Ireland over 30 years would pay around €1,085 a month based on average rates. In Europe they would pay on average €897.
“So in Ireland we’re paying an extra €188 a month to the banks (or almost €68,000 extra over the lifetime of the mortgage). It’s infuriating.”
Fianna Fail’s Michael McGrath has been outspoken on rip-off rates.
He said: “Mortgage interest rates charged in Ireland are entirely unjustifiable and the banks cannot be allowed to continue to fleece Irish consumers in this way.
“This massive differential is impacting negatively on the quality of life of hundreds of thousands of individuals and families around the country.”
Figures for the second quarter of the year indicated standard variable rates (SVR) are decreasing, as fixed rate popularity continues to rise here.
But while 59 per cent of new mortgages in the three months to June were fixed, this is still quite low by European standards where 80 per cent of mortgages are fixed.
Despite this, Joey Sheahan, at mymortgages.ie believes the rise in fixed mortgages is a positive for the Irish market.
He said: “The banks know that the popularity of fixed rates is soaring — KBC is the latest to slash its 5-year fixed rate to 2.8 per cent.
“Ulster Bank are offering a 2.3 per cent 2-year fixed rate and a 3.25 per cent fixed rate for 7 years.
“PTSB have also recently dropped its fixed rates to 3.7 per cent for existing customers.
“It’s time for mortgage holders throughout the country to be proactive in reviewing their mortgage.”
Source https://www.thesun.ie/news/2968648/irish-mortgage-highest-average-eu/ 11 Aug 2018
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