Fixed rate mortgages becoming increasingly popular

Fixed rate mortgages becoming increasingly popular

Mortgage borrowers are increasingly entering into fixed interest rate arrangements, according to figures from the Central Bank.

Fixed rate loans on principal dwellings recorded a net increase of €615 million in the first quarter of this year.

In contrast, floating rate loans, mainly accounted for by variable rate mortgages, recorded a fall of €522 million.

The ECB main refinancing rate stands at a record low of zero percent, although borrowers are paying well in excess of that rate.

However, the growing trend towards fixing suggests that borrowers expect rates to start increasing soon and are locking in lower fixed rates now.

Overall lending for house purchase in the quarter turned negative as mortgagees paid back outstanding amounts at a greater pace than new lenders took out loans.

That was mainly accounted for by the buy-to-let market with mortgages on such properties decreasing by €288 million over the quarter.

Mortgages on principal dwellings grew by €93 million in the period.

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