DUBLIN, Ireland: After an interest rate hike this week caused yearly mortgage payments to increase 1,000 euros overnight, Sinn Fein is calling upon the government to offer interest relief to households.
The 1,000 euro increase occurred after the European Central Bank raised interest rates by half a percentage point last week.
In real terms, the increase meant that Ireland's 250,000 tracker mortgage customers saw their annual repayments go up by an average of 1,000 euros.
Also, fixed and variable rate customers are awaiting an increase, which is always passed on after an ECB rate hike.
"This further rate hike will immediately impact more than 250,000 borrowers who have seen their monthly repayments increase by hundreds of euros since January," said Sinn Fein finance spokesman Pearse Doherty, as quoted by the Irish Mirror.
However, the government could increase mortgage interest relief, added Doherty.
"Already, Irish mortgage-holders are charged interest rates that are 50 percent higher than the European average."
The current basic interest rate is 3 percent, and this week's hike brings the rate to 3.5 percent.
This means that a homeowner holding a 300,000 euro 25-year mortgage would see his monthly payment increase some 80 euros per month, or 1,000 euros more per year.
The average home mortgage in Ireland is just under 300,000 euros.