Irish Mortgage Rates Remain Dramatically Out of Line With EU Norms – O’Rourke

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Recent Retail Interest Rate statistics published by the Central Bank show that mortgages rates are falling in Ireland. However, they are not falling at the same pace that deposit rates are falling, and mortgage rates in Ireland remain dramatically out of line with rates charged elsewhere in Europe, according to Fianna Fáil’s Deputy Finance Spokesperson, Frank O’Rourke.

“These statistics published by the Central Bank recently show that despite modest reductions in mortgage rates, Irish mortgage holders are continuing to pay dramatically more than consumers elsewhere in Europe.”

“For example, in Ireland, the interest rate on all new mortgages, fixed and variable, stood at 3.3% in June compared to a Euro area rate of 1.83%. This means that a borrower with a mortgage of €200,000 is paying €250 per month more than they would be paying in the average Euro area country. That is €250 a month, each and every month, which could be spent by families on other household necessities. There has yet to be a credible explanation for such a dramatic difference in the rates charges and it is depriving our economy of much needed money which could be spent more productively in our economy” stated Deputy O’Rourke,
“In May 2016, a Fianna Fáil Bill designed to give the Central Bank powers to tackle excessive variable mortgage rates passed second stage in the Dáil. The progress of the Bill through the legislative process has been tortuous and painfully slow. Despite not opposing the Bill at second stage, it is abundantly clear the Government does not want the Bill to become law.”

“As I have said in the Dail on a number of occasions, we must focus on reducing the cost of living as well as reducing the burden of taxation. There is little point in reducing tax rates, if the banks are continuing to charge excessively high variable mortgage rates or insurance companies are continuing to increase their rates, taking back a multiple of any reduction in taxation.”

“However, key elements of our Bill on mortgage rates will proceed when the Dail returns next month which will be of help in relation to securing fairer mortgage rates in the Irish market,” concluded Deputy O’Rourke.

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