SPANISH-BASED homeowners with mortgages saved a significant amount of money in 2016 thanks to the Eurozone interest rate being negative for 11 consecutive months.
The highest savings were seen in Madrid and the Basque Country – those whose mortgages come up for their annual review in December will see their payments in 2017 go down by an average of €110 over the year, or just under €10 a month.
The Euribor, which is used to calculate interest on mortgages in Spain and all other countries which use the euro as currency, closed 2016 on -0.082%, meaning an average saving of €80 a year for mortgage payers nationally.
Despite popular misconception among consumers, however, this does not mean a refund on mortgage payments, particularly as most lenders set their rates by a fixed percentage on top of the Euribor – at best, if the Eurozone interest rate drops, interest on mortgages may reduce to zero, but in most cases a small percentage still applies.
According to the National Statistics Institute (INE), a typical mortgage for buying a property in Spain as at December 2015 was €107,880, meaning that a 25-year term and a 'Euribor +1%' deal would mean the average monthly payment came out at €409.46.
At that point, the Euribor was still above zero – but only just – at 0.059%, and now, a year later, the same mortgage payment would come in at around €402 a month.
The highest average mortgages taken out to buy a property in the last year were in Madrid, with a typical figure of just under €143,000, whilst the lowest were in the land-locked western region of Extremadura, at €67,700.
This is why Madrid homeowners will save more money this year if their interest rates up due for their annual revision, with monthly payments going down by €9.12 – from €542.46 to €533.34 – followed by those in the Basque Country, where the typical mortgage repayment will drop by €9.01 a month, or €108.12 a year.
All the remaining regions will make savings of less than €100 a year, the highest being in the Balearics at €97.68 annually, or €8.14 a month, and the lowest being Extremadura, at €51.72 a year or €4.31.
Elsewhere, monthly savings based upon the average mortgage for the region, which range from €70,000 to €140,000 approximately, are from €8.08 in Catalunya down to €4.83 in Murcia.
Homeowners in Navarra, Galicia and Aragón will save monthly amounts of €7,13, €6,84 and €6,78 respectively, dropping to €6.11, €6.02 and €5.99 in Cantabria, Andalucía and Castilla-La Mancha, in that order.
Some of the smallest savings will be made in La Rioja (€5.61), Asturias (€5.51), the Canary Islands and Castilla y León (€5.37 each), and Valencia (€5,21 a month).