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The following is an extract from an article published in the Examiner , Eamon Quinn Saturday, January 14, 2017
New Irish home loan rates remain twice as high as the eurozone average, while the rates Irish banks pay households are about three times lower, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank.
The average rate charged for a new mortgage in Ireland was just under 3.4% at the end of November, compared with the eurozone’s average rate of just over 1.7%, the data show.
New home loans have nonetheless fallen by just over a quarter of a point in the year — by 28 basis points —as lenders cut the elevated costs of their standard variable mortgage rates. Buy-to-let variable mortgage rates stood at just over 4.7%.
The high level of mortgage rates in Ireland compared with many places in Europe, and the corresponding low savings rates banks pay savers here, have long been under the spotlight.
The latest figures confirm that little has changed despite the costs of key funding or wholesale rates for lenders set by the ECB for the whole of the eurozone having tumbled over the past two years.
Deposit rates on savings for households were on average at 0.13% — down 5 basis points in the year.
That level compares with the 0.46% rate banks across the eurozone pay household savers, though that’s down too over the year, by over a fifth of a percentage point, or 21 basis points.
Meanwhile, deposit rates paid out for new business accounts in Ireland have now shrunk to a meagre 0.03%, down 6 basis points in the year.
The equivalent eurozone business deposit average rate was higher, at 0.14%, but down 12 basis points from a year earlier.
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