The days of super low interest rates is coming to an end and Irish mortgage holders must prepare for the eventual rise.
Interest rates have remained at a all time low as the ECB has been stimulating the economy through bond buying exercise. The ECB has already started to end this period of extraordinary stimulus and it will slowly draw to an end. This will allow the ECB to increases its key short-term interest rates some time in 2019. The longer-term interest rates on financial markets will drift higher in the months ahead, if the euro zone recovery remains on track.
When ECB rates rise, those on tracker mortgage rates will see their mortgage repayments rise as the ECB rate rises. Standard variable mortgage rates would also be likely to rise, though as costs here are already above the EU average it is not clear if they would rise exactly in line with ECB increases. This will depend on the state of competition in the Irish market at the time.
Longer-term fixed rate mortgage offers could start to edge up earlier than an ECB rise, as these are priced in relation to market interest rates which typically move ahead of official rates. If you are looking to lock your mortgage payments for a period of time, now is the time to do it. As the pace and extent of the rise in variable rates remains uncertain and so judging the value in the fixed rate market involves some guesswork. Now is the time to examine the your mortgage as many people have not had to do much over the last couple of years. It is always advisable to talk to your financial advisor about this as they can give you the pros and cons of fixing your mortgages.