First-time buyers paying €173 more a month on mortgage compared to Eurozone average

First-time buyers in Ireland pay an average of €173 more per month on their mortgage compared to the Eurozone.

Figures from the Central Bank show a slight increase in the average interest rate charged on new mortgages here, despite falling rates elsewhere in the EU.

According to the price comparison website Bonkers.ie, there is still a lack of competition in the market as it remains heavily concentrated in the hands of a few main banks.

Daragh Cassidy, from Bonkers says Irish consumers are paying way over the odds when compared to our European counterparts.

"For all the talk of falling interest rates and a mortgage price war in recent months, the average rate in Ireland is down only two basis points since the beginning of the year. This compares to a fall of over 30 basis points in the Eurozone," said Mr Cassidy.

There is still a lack of competition in the Irish mortgage market as it remains heavily concentrated in the hands of a few main banks; namely AIB and Bank of Ireland, who have a duopoly-like grip on the market.

"And although competition has improved in recent times, it's still below where it needs to be and this is leading to higher rates.

"The issue around home repossessions, and the inability of banks to take back a loan that has gone bad, is also a factor."

Mr Cassidy added that as well as contending with some of the highest mortgage rates in the Eurozone, Irish people have some of the lowest saving rates.

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