Unlocking the Path to Homeownership: Demystifying Mortgage Rates in Ireland



The Insider @ Houst
Last updated on
June 30, 2023

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Unlocking the Path to Homeownership: Demystifying Mortgage Rates in Ireland

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Imagine owning your dream home. A mortgage is the key to turning that dream into a reality. It's more than a loan; it's the path to owning your dream property.

Unlike other personal loans, mortgages have a remarkable advantage—they can span a significantly longer period. This means you can borrow larger sums of money, as the loan is secured against the value of your purchasing property.

Before starting this exciting journey, remember to save for a deposit. This acts as a commitment and an investment in your future abode. In this article, we’ll discuss mortgage rates Ireland in detail. So, don’t miss out! 

Table of Contents

Determining the Required Deposit: Factors Based on Your Buyer Profile

First-time Buyer

If you're taking your initial step into the property market, a 10% deposit is typically required. You'll need to contribute 10% of the property's value upfront.

Second or Subsequent Buyer

If you're already a homeowner and buying a second home, a 20% deposit is generally expected. This ensures you have a solid financial foundation for your next purchase.

Buy-to-let Investor

For those venturing into the realm of property investment, such as purchasing a property to rent out, a 30% deposit is typically necessary. This higher deposit requirement helps mitigate risks associated with rental properties.

Mortgages Types in Ireland

When it comes to mortgage rates Ireland, there's no one-size-fits-all. Different circumstances call for different types of mortgages, catering to various buyer profiles such as first-time buyers, switchers, or investment buyers.

Repayment and Interest-only Mortgages

Repayment and interest-only mortgages are two primary options, each impacting how the loan is repaid and whether additional plans are required to settle the mortgage balance.

Repayment Mortgage

With this option, you make monthly payments that cover both the mortgage amount and the interest charged. By the end of the mortgage term, your balance will be reduced to zero, and you will own your property outright.

Interest-only Mortgage

An interest-only mortgage is a loan that pays only the monthly interest on the mortgage balance. At the end of the term, you need to make a lump sum payment to clear the remaining balance. Interest-only mortgages are less common and mainly designed for buy-to-let property investors.

Interest Rate Types

Fixed or variable rate? Your mortgage choice determines stable repayments (fixed) or fluctuating rates (variable). Impact: payment predictability and interest rate stability.

Fixed-rate Mortgage

Opting for a fixed-rate mortgage means your interest rate remains unchanged for a predetermined period, allowing you to budget more effectively. Even if interest rates rise in the market, your rate will remain the same. Fixed-rate mortgages provide stability and peace of mind during the specified term.

Variable Rate Mortgage

A variable-rate mortgage entails an interest rate that fluctuates over time, meaning your repayments may vary depending on changes in the market interest rates. Some lenders may offer discounted or capped variable-rate mortgages, providing potential benefits during certain periods. However, it's essential to be aware that the variable nature of these mortgages brings uncertainty and may require more flexibility in your budgeting.

Standard Variable Rate (SVR)

The standard variable rate is the default rate set by your lender. Typically, SVR tends to be higher than other mortgage options, making it a relatively expensive choice. Shopping around and exploring alternative mortgage deals that offer more competitive rates and better terms is advisable.

Cashback Mortgages

This type offers a cash lump sum payout once you withdraw your home loan. The money received can cover moving expenses, such as legal fees. Cashback mortgages are particularly popular among first-time buyers, providing them with financial support during the initial stages of homeownership.

Green Mortgages

Designed for those who own energy-efficient homes with a Building Energy Rating (BER) of B3 or better, green mortgages offer discounted rates. Eligibility for these mortgages extends to first-time buyers, switchers, movers, and self-builders. Green mortgages encourage sustainable practices and environmentally friendly housing options.

Buy-to-let Mortgages

Targeted towards property investors and landlords, buy-to-let mortgages provide financing for purchasing properties to be rented out. Brokers and lenders often offer flexible options, including interest-only mortgages or a combination of repayment and interest-only loans. 

Self-build Mortgages

With a self-build mortgage, you receive the loan amount in stages based on the different phases of your building project. The interest is typically calculated and paid only on the amount you've borrowed for each step rather than the entire loan amount. Self-build mortgages cater to individuals constructing their homes, offering financial support throughout the building process.

Mortgage Options in Ireland: Where to Secure Financing

When looking for a mortgage in Ireland, there are several options available to you:


You can approach your current bank or explore mortgage options with other banks operating in Ireland. Banks typically offer a variety of mortgage products and may have existing customer benefits or discounts. It's advisable to compare offerings from different banks to find the best deal.

Building Societies

Building societies also provide mortgage services in Ireland. They are financial institutions that focus on providing housing finance and other related services. Like banks, it's worth considering mortgage options from building societies and comparing them with offerings from different lenders.

Mortgage Brokers

Engaging the services of a mortgage broker can be beneficial. They specialise in assisting borrowers in finding suitable mortgage options. They have access to multiple lenders and can help you compare and navigate through various products. Mortgage brokers may charge a fee upfront, so clarifying any costs is essential.

Determining Borrowing Capacity: How Much Can You Borrow?

Various factors influence the amount you can borrow for a mortgage. Here are the key considerations:


Lenders assess your income or combined income in the case of joint applications. Generally, they consider your ability to make repayments based on your income stability, employment status, and earnings.

Property value

The property value you intend to purchase is important. Lenders set limits on the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, representing the percentage of the property's value they're willing to lend. The higher the LTV, the more significant the loan amount you can secure.

Buyer Type

Whether you are a first-time buyer, a switcher (moving from one property to another), or an investment buyer can affect the amount you can borrow. Lenders may have specific criteria and lending policies for each category.

Credit History

A good credit history is essential for obtaining a mortgage. Lenders check your credit report to assess your creditworthiness and determine the risk associated with lending.

Why Consider Switching Your Mortgage?

Switching your mortgage offers key benefits, including lower monthly repayments. By transitioning to a mortgage with a lower interest rate, you can effectively decrease the monthly amount you need to pay.

  • Lower monthly repayments 
  • Savings on interest
  • Shorter mortgage term
  • Access to better features or benefits
  • Financial flexibility

How much could you save?

Switching to a cheaper mortgage can lead to substantial savings throughout your loan. Let’s see how to calculate potential savings and make an informed decision:

  • Compare mortgages: Research and compare options with low interest rates and favourable terms.
  • Calculate monthly repayments and total savings: Determine the difference between your current mortgage and the new one to estimate monthly savings. Multiply this by the loan term for total savings.
  • Consider associated fees: Account for legal, valuation costs, and any additional fees during the switching process.
  • Deduct charges from potential savings: Subtract total fees from estimated savings to get a more accurate picture of net savings.

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The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at expert@houst.com.

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider @ Houst

The Insider team provides up-to-date and relevant information on short-term rentals to help navigate the world of short lets. If you're interested in publishing your content, please get in touch with us at expert@houst.com.