Mortgage hunters: Time to look beyond the five main banks?

When you’re in the market for a new mortgage, it makes sense to widen your net as far as possible and make yourself aware of all available deals. Increasingly, this means extending your search beyond the five main banks.

According to the Central Bank, the total value of the 17,415 mortgage loans extended in the first half of this year was €3.75 billion, up 22 per cent year on the same period of 2017. Of this, 97 per cent was lent out for owner-occupied loans with the balance for buy-to-let mortgages.

Some 35,472 new home loans were issued last year, with a combined value of €7.4 billion. According to figures from the Central Bank, the average rate of interest on a new home loan in the Republic in July was 3.2 per cent, while the average across the euro zone was put at just under 1.8 per cent.

As it stands, AIB (including EBS) has a 33 per cent share of the residential mortgage market, while Bank of Ireland has 28 per cent. The remaining 39 per cent is split between Permanent TSB, Ulster Bank and Belgian lender KBC. On a tier below them are niche players such as Pepper, Dilosk and others, including local authorities.