Ulster Bank is introducing a new, ten-year fixed mortgage rate, while it is also reducing its "High-Value" five-year fixed rate to the lowest single mortgage rate on the market.

The bank said that both new and existing customers can avail of its new ten-year fixed rate of 2.95% for home movers, mortgage switchers and first time buyers who have a loan-to-value of up to 80%.

According to the bank, a customer currently on a ten year fixed rate of 3.3% with a €250,000 mortgage over 25 years and an LTV of 80% could save over €5,000 over ten years by choosing its new offer.

Up until recently very few lenders offered the option of a fixed rate for longer than five or seven years. 

But Ulster Bank now joins Haven, KBC, Bank of Ireland and AIB in offering mortgage customers the choice of a fixed rate over 10 years.

Ulster Bank also said that for customers taking out a minimum loan of €300,000, its "High Value" five-year fixed rate has also been reduced to 2.2% - the lowest single mortgage rate on the market in any category.

The bank also said it was extending its €1,500 cash towards legal fees offer until the end of March 2020 this year.

The new rates are available from tomorrow.

Daragh Cassidy, from price comparison and switching website bonkers.ie, said today's announcement from Ulster Bank is good news for mortgage customers who are looking for better value and the peace of mind and certainty that longer-term fixed rates bring. 

"The fact that Ulster Bank is undercutting the market yet again shows that competition in the mortgage market is growing, albeit slowly," Mr Cassidy added.  

He also noted that over the past few years fixed rates have become increasingly common in Ireland, with over 70% of new mortgages here now fixed. 

But this compares to over 80% in the euro zone. 

"And unlike in Europe, where fixed rates of up to 20 years or more are common, few banks in Ireland have offered fixed rates much longer than five years up until recently," Mr Cassidy said.

"The question now is whether any lenders will start offering even longer-term fixed rates of 12 or even 15 years like in the rest of Europe. 

"While unlikely in the very short term, we could see it introduced within the next few years, especially if a new lender enters the market as is rumoured," he predicted.

But despite the recent cuts by banks, mortgage rates in Ireland are still the second highest in the euro zone after Greece and are roughly double what they are in many other euro zone countries.