Mortgage Switching activity has decreased by 80pc in 2023 despite the savings available from switching almost doubling to €591 per month or over €7,000 per annum, according to the quarterly Irish Independent doddl.ie mortgage switching index.
The average mortgage in Q3, 2023
The index is based on the average mortgage drawn down for new lending in both the first-time buyer and second-hand mover markets in Q3 2023, currently €300,631.
The gap between the highest and lowest rate on the market is now 3.30pc and those eligible for Green rates or who have lower loan to values could save even more by moving to lower available rates.
The highest mortgage rate in Ireland
Latest rate announcement from non bank lender Finance Ireland has pushed the highest rate in Ireland to over 7pc for the first time in over a decade with the lowest standard rate starting from 3.85pc.
Mortgage switching activity in Ireland
The first half of this year saw a significant slow down in mortgage switching as rates from the pillar banks started to rachet upwards and the rate market was in flux.
Now that rates are more stable we can certainly see an uplift in switcher activity and are working with mortgage holders to secure medium to long term fixed rate options that provide security over repayments.
The rate environment has changed significantly for mortgage holders rolling out of fixed rates and it makes it more important than ever to review mortgage options and look to secure the best rate achievable.
Best mortgage switching rates
Mortgage rates are available sub 4pc and with stronger loan to values these rates are open to existing mortgage holders who would have purchased even 3 years ago.
Due to property price inflation most mortgage holders rolling off fixed rates will have an improved loan to value and will be eligible for lower rates due to their stronger loan to value position.
Green mortgage rates
Green rates are some of the lowest rates on the market and Hennessy would encourage anyone who has carried out home improvements to seek out these lower Green rate mortgages which have a huge impact on repayments.
Taking an example of a €250,000 mortgage, standard rate 5 year fixed 4.8pc versus 5 year fixed Green 3.75pc with the same lender, the Green rate status would lead to a saving of €8,820 in the five year period.
Interest rates and the fear of switching mortgages
Doddl managing director, Martina Hennessy believes the reduction in the numbers switching is due to 2022 being a bumper year for switchers with the exit of KBC Bank and Ulster Bank from the market and rising interest rates in 2022. She also believes that the Irish consumer has a ‘fear’ of switching.
For many when presented with a number of options the fear of selecting the incorrect options means that they do not act at all and as a result they end up paying needless interest by remaining with their current lender.
Mortgages are complex financial products and you need to get market based advice when reviewing mortgage options. This is why the majority of the market (63.3% end Q3) choose to switch by getting market based advice from a broker.
The process to purchase a home in Ireland is challenging and many mortgage switchers associate their first experience with getting a mortgage to the switching process. In fact, the process is different, your reason to switch is to save interest and you will only switch if there is a financial benefit in doing so.
Mortgage top ups
Latest BPFI figures show a marked increase in the numbers taking Top Up’s to their existing mortgage, the value of which has increased by over 30pc year on year.
At doodl.ie we continue to see an increase in mortgage holders topping up their mortgage for home improvements and seeking to consolidate existing debt.
Find out more about switching your mortgage with doddl.