Rates on Irish mortgages remain the second highest in the euro area, according to the latest figures from the Central Bank. 

In February, the average rate on new mortgage agreements was 2.79%.

This compares to the euro area average of 1.27%. 

This rate was unchanged compared to the previous month but was 0.12% lower than the average a year ago. 

The average on fixed rate mortgages was 2.65%.

Fixed rate mortgages account for 82% of all mortgages now issued.

The average variable rate was 3.4%. 

The volume of mortgages issued in February was 7% higher than February 2020.

It also increased 23% on the volume issued in January. 

New consumer lending is still down sharply compared to a year ago.

The volume of new consumer lending was down 34% compared to February 2020.

The average rate was 6.96% compared to the euro area average of 5.23%. 

Total lending to non-financial companies was down 11% compared to last year.

However, loans for values up to €250,000 were up 12%.

The average rate on these loans was 4.57% compared to the euro area average of 1.98%. 

The use of overdraft finance by companies was also down by 18% compared to last year.