Home loan interest rates hit 5.4 percent in the first quarter of 2023, almost doubling on year, data from the Bank of Estonia shows. Interest was 2.9 percent in the same period last year.
"The average home loan in our country is around €50,000. The average mortgage payment has increased by less than €100 per month. This is an increase of one-third, but in absolute terms, it is still not very large," said SEB board member Alto Aljas.
Rates will continue to rise, although more slowly than before, forecasts suggest.
"The general consensus today among analysts is that the rise will continue. It will continue to rise by about 0.5 percent, but if we compare how much it has already risen and how much more will be added, the rate of increase is clearly slowing and we expect it to have slowed by the end of the year," Aljas said.
Jaak Tõrs, head of the Bank of Estonia's Financial Stability Department, said: "In the forecast, if the Euribor rises to at least 4 percent, the interest rate on housing loans will rise to nearly 6 percent. Over the past year, incomes have risen by nearly 10 percent, and this has largely helped people to cope with rising costs, rising price levels, and also rising interest rates."
One way banks recommend trying to limit the impact of rate hikes and inflation is to invest money in fixed-term deposits. Interest on these has increased by over 3 percent due to the Euribor's rise.
"When interest rates rise, investment opportunities become wider. Over the past year, fixed-term deposits have essentially risen from zero to around 3.5 percent," said Tõrs.
The share of bad loans has not increased and remains below 0.1 percent.
Editor: Merili Nael, Helen Wright
Source: Aktuaalne kaamera