Mortgage rates in Ireland remain the second highest in the euro zone, according to the latest statistics from the Central Bank.

The average interest rate on new mortgages was 2.79% in October. This is down 0.14% compared to the same month last year.

But it is over twice the average rate across the euro area and second only to Greece.

The average interest rate on new fixed rate mortgages actually increased in October by 0.03% to 2.67%.

The average rate on new variable mortgages remained unchanged at 3.36%. Overall, 79% of all new mortgages are fixed.

The volume of new mortgages increased by 11% in October to €748 million. However, this was a decrease of 8% on the volume of mortgages loaned out last year.

New consumer lending fell in October and is down 26% compared to last year. The average interest rate on consumer loans was 7.57% compared to an average of 5.23% across the euro zone.

As other data has also shown, the amount of loans to businesses is also sharply down. Loans to non-financial corporations were down 31% compared to last year.

Business loans for amounts up to €250,000 was €7m, or 4% lower than October of last year. The average interest rate on these loans was 4.63%, over twice the euro zone average of 2%.

Interest rates on new household deposits remain minimal. They were 0.02% in October. The average rate across the euro zone was 0.25%.

Interest rates on deposits for businesses were negative. In other words, consumers were penalised for holding cash on deposit. The rate in October was -0.21%. The average euro zone rate was -0.17%.

Darragh Cassidy of price comparison website, Bonkers.ie, said that rates in Ireland remain "stubbornly high" and "hugely elevated" compared to our Eurozone neighbours.

"Today's figures mean a mortgage holder taking out a €250,000 mortgage over 30 years will pay just over €183 more each month.

"This is money that households could be putting towards childcare, their pensions, a holiday, or just savings in general," he said.

Mr Cassidy said it appears that a lot of the ultra-low rates being advertised here, some as low as 1.95%, aren’t being offered to consumers to any great degree.

He said there is still a lack of competition in the Irish mortgage market.

"Although competition has improved in recent times, particularly with the arrival of Avant Money, it's still below where it needs to be.

"The issue around home repossessions, and the inability of banks to take back a property if the loan has gone bad, is also a factor in Irish mortgage holders facing higher rates," he added.